I decided to type in “Arctic Monkeys” on Google to see if there were any updates on my favorite band in the whole flippin’ universe. Maybe Alex decided to start a solo project…or even better, the Monkeys are back in the studio preparing for their next album. But no, no exciting news (Update: The Last Shadow Puppets are going to be in LA soon, so that’s Alex’s latest project). To be perfectly honest, music hasn’t maintained that usual special little crux in my heart for a while now. In addition, I haven’t had much musical inspiration that has translated over into my clothing choices lately, either. Don’t get me wrong, there have been wonderful albums that have dropped and I have given a listen to in the past year (Dre, Kendrick, J Cole…still waiting for Mr. Ocean though) but at heart, I am a true and blue indie rock/rock n roll gal. While I have recently been more in touch with my interests regarding socially conscious and thought provoking rap, in my personal opinion, there is nothing more freeing to me than listening to a band that makes you feel so electric, so youthful, and so carefree. So much so, that you want to put your hands in the air and be one with the crowd. Cliche, but we’ve all felt this and done this at one point or the other. Music that revolves around social issues, or the intricate realities of the minority experience is meant to be processed internally more often. At least, that is how I ingest it.
Anyway, as I was perusing through the news regarding AM, I saw that there was this up and coming band called The Strypes. Originating from Cavan, Ireland, the 4 man troupe states that their music is heavily influenced by AC–and from what I could see, they also were drawing upon the early visage of the Arctic Monkeys, especially the lead singer, Ross Farrelly. He resembled a 17 year old version of Alex Turner, pre-rockabilly quiff and with an impish stature. I was skeptical to be honest. I understand being influenced by an artist, as most artists are, but the similarities initially had me wary. Until I started to listen to their tunes. When I started off with their most recent album, Little Victories, I was impressed. Their music does draw upon AM, but not exclusively. Their sound is a conglomeration of bluesy, funk-like vibrations combined with the infectious rhythm classic rock n roll. All together creating this unpredictable, yet ear pleasing tune. I can’t explain it any better than that!
From here, I only foresee two potential downsides for The Strypes:
1. The image of the band. Their wardrobe consists of black suit jackets, black jeans, and a white button up. It’s expected and over done. There is nothing distinguishable about their look, and quite honestly, when I first saw them on my Tumblr feed, I confused them for an 2007 AM album cover.
2. The lead singer’s voice isn’t that distinguishable either. He sounds like every other crooning indie rock artist. The reason why I mention this is because I can pick out Alex’s timbre from 3 miles away, earplugs in, and under the pulsating beat of a Katy Perry tune (granted his buttery smooth Sheffield accent gives him an advantage in this category–nevertheless!). Same with David Grohl. Same with Kurt Cobain. HOWEVER, despite these things, there is lots of room for them to grow. Nothing a little bit of awesome PR can’t do when it comes to their style, and for Ross’s voice, I imagine he is still growing tremendously as a musician, especially as head honcho of The Strypes. Little Victories is only their second album.
I see the potential. I like their sound. I like where they are going. I’m staying tuned.