The Strypes – Flat Out EP Review
The Strypes’ new three track EP titled Flat Out is the first new material we’ve heard since their 2013 debut album Snapshot. With the follow up due this summer (working title Little Victories), this serves as a teaser and accompanies their current UK tour.
‘Scumbag City’, starts with isolated vocals which emphasise Ross Farrelly’s rich voice, although the accent suggests the city he’s singing about might be Sheffield rather than Cavan. Written around a punchy R’n’B riff, it’s not much of a departure from their earlier material, although the marked improvement in the musicianship is evident, particularly in Evan Walsh’s drumming.
Second track ‘Eighty Four’ screams of Favourite Worst Nightmare era Arctic Monkeys and is borderline plagiarism, although it does work in a neat reference to a Kings of Leon album during the chorus. It shows a shift in sound and style away from blues towards noughties indie, but they won’t get away with an album of tracks like this as it’s just too far the wrong side of “heavily influenced”.
The EP ends with a pretty uninspiring cover of the MC5 classic ‘Kick Out The Jams’, but hey, it’s a secondary song on an EP which the lads obviously enjoy performing, so it’s probably too much to expect them to bring anything new to it.
Although The Strypes are still teenagers, the hype around their tender age has dissipated somewhat and you feel they’ll be judged purely on the music once the second album is released. On the evidence of this EP, it may take them a little longer to work their influences into their own material with more subtlety. They undoubtedly have the musical and lyrical chops to make this happen, it’s just not happening on this release.
Review by Keith McGouran