They say that everything old is new again and that may be true for some people when they hear The Struts. The Derbyshire rockers have been quickly making a name for themselves around the world and have been described as “unabashedly over the top retro-fetishist classic rock.” You know, with a description like that, I knew I had to check these guys out. The four piece band is led by the very charismatic front man Luke Spiller and there’s something magical about that guy that many front people, regardless of genre or sex, wish that they had. It’s a certain “x-factor” that you either have or you don’t and it’s not something that can be taught. The band’s debut album Everybody Wants was released in the UK in 2014 and the labels in the U.S. quickly took notice and signed them to Interscope Records/Polydor in 2015. An EP entitled Have You Heard was soon released in the US a few months later.
Fast forward to 2016 and numerous sold-out shows later and the band is reissuing its debut Everybody Wants minus a few tracks from the UK release, but with the addition of five tracks not found on the UK version. “Roll Up,” “Could Have Been Me,” “Kiss This,” “Put Your Money On Me,” “Dirty Sexy Money,” “She Makes Me Feel Like,” “Black Swan” and “Where Did She Go” are included from the albums original release. “ Could Have Been Me” is knocking on three million views on You Tube and for good reason as this song is a prime example of what these guys are doing right. They’re putting together damn catchy songs that are dripping with hooks. “Put Your Money On Me” and “Kiss This” don’t stray too far from that exact formula either in the band’s crusade to bring back 70s glam to the forefront in an industry that’s become a bit complacent and boring. If those songs are too shiny and poppy for you in content, then give “Black Swan” a listen to hear a bit of a side of the band that a little bit darker.
As for the newer tracks included on here (“Mary Go Round,” “The Ol Switcheroo,” “Young Stars,” “These Times Are Changin” and “Only Just a Call Away”), there’s definitely some variety there. “Mary Go Round” and “Only Just a Call Away” would fall into the ballad category, but more along the lines of a power ballad. “Only Just a Call Away” is one of the stronger tracks on here and one where the lyrical content of struggling with long distance relationship can be universally felt. “Mary Go Round” has a bit of an Oasis feel to it and the use of strings in it definitely adds a nice layer to the songs composition. It’s not very often that you find a band putting one of its strongest songs as the closer on an album, but that’s exactly what the guys did here. “Where Did You Go” is such a great song on so many levels including both lyrically and musically and it just soars.
Overall, I can’t find anything bad to say about this album. Spiller is top notch on his vocal delivery and I can definitely hear some of the great Freddie Mercury in his voice, but with a little more grit to it. Adam Slack’s riffs are definitely felt in abundance throughout the album as the rhythm section of Jed Elliott on bass and Gethin Davies lay a damn solid foundation down for all of these songs to build upon. I think that the harmonies throughout the album are something that often gets overlooked with these guys and they add so much to these songs. These guys definitely wear their influences on their musical sleeves as they mesh the old school 70s glam vibe with a large dose of steroids to keep it fresh and not sounding dated. If you already have the UK version of this, you’ll definitely want to pick this version up for the newer songs included. For others, it’s a great time to jump on-board and experience why this band is blowing up in a major way.