Artist: The Struts
Album: Everybody Wants
Release Date: 03/04/2016
The first 40 or 50 seconds of the opening, title cut, with its repetitive riff and cheap-sounding rhymes gave me the queasy feeling that I was about to suffer through a very formulaic pop CD, but things picked up—dramatically—from there, and by the second tune, “Could Have Been Me,” I’d done a 180 and knew to my core the Struts are exceptional. Glam-rock lead singer Luke Spiller delivers the occasional soft vocal, but his forte is belted-out rock and roll reminiscent of Freddie Mercury, minus the falsetto. Spiller’s driving enthusiasm gets as good as he gives from bassist Jed Elliott, and drummer Gethin Davies, who, along with able guitarist Adam Slack, keep the energy cranked up to the high end of the tachometer and ably assist on backup vocals.
With an album this good, picking favorites gets dicey. “Could Have Been Me,” their anthemic UK hit, sticks with the listener long after the album clicks off, but “Put Your Money On Me,” “These Times Are Changing” (which has nothing to do with the Dylan song, trust me), “Young Stars” (particularly Queen-like) and “Where Did She Go” are close contenders, and guaranteed to ring in your head for weeks to come.
The band has opened for the Rolling Stones—a good fit—and those jaded fans who dined out in order to miss the opening act should have skipped that high-end sushi and done the right thing by their bodies and souls and seen the Struts instead. Anyone who’s heard their set probably bought this CD; buy Everybody Wants yourself, and snag a ticket to a Struts show ASAP.