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The Struts - Young & Dangerous (Album Review)

Thursday, 08 November 2018 Written by Simon Ramsay

If it were illegal to cram an album with as many bombastic, uplifting anthems as humanly possible, the Struts wouldn’t just be serving hard time, they’d be shuffling along to the gallows in their most dazzling finery. Having already created a large splash in the US, and been named by Dave Grohl as the best band to support the Foo Fighters, these Derbyshire glam-rockers have crafted a relentlessly infectious second album that should finally see them receive the attention they deserve on these shores.

In a more rock-friendly era, the Struts would already be stars thanks to 2014’s ‘Everybody Wants’. A stunning debut that belied their tender years, it saw this retro-modernist foursome drawing from Queen, Slade, the Rolling Stones, Oasis and early Killers to create an era-spanning sound that was very much their own.

It may not have made them a household name, but that bow led to both Stateside success and priceless support slots with Mötley Crüe, Guns N’ Roses and the Stones themselves.

‘Young & Dangerous’ is tailor-made to capitalise on such momentum, subtly adding a contemporary pop sheen, and plenty of fresh textures, to their trademark attack without succumbing to tedious modern production clichés.

The groovy Body Talks, would-be-smash-hit Fire (Part 1) and lyrically colourful Freak Like You, replete with screeching saxophone and Hey Jude-style closing singalong, epitomise their ability to deliver feelgood, gang-chant glam hooks. At a time when the world isn’t exactly a unified utopia, these carpe diem refrains boast a strong communal power and the capacity to bring people together. Heaven help anyone who follows this lot on next summer’s festival bills.

Where its predecessor was the work of hungry bedroom-dwelling wannabes, the confidence gained from recent success pours out of ‘Young & Dangerous’ as the band once again appropriate their wide-reaching influences with a skill and surety that renders accusations of mimicry obsolete.

Primadonna Like Me tattoos the Struts’ boisterousness to a vintage Stones riff before spray painting everything with shades of early Elton John, Mott The Hoople, Alice Cooper and even Kaiser Chiefs. In Love With A Camera is rocket-fired pop and AOR spiced up by the Darkness’s vocal histrionics and Thin Lizzy guitar flourishes, and People might be the best Oasis hit that never was. Ashes (Part Two), meanwhile, is Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell wrestling Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now in a paddling pool filled with glitter and sequins.

Crucial to incorporating such touchstones while giving the Struts a distinct personality of their own is frontman Luke Spiller. Equal parts Freddie Mercury and Mick Jagger, he’s an absolute force of nature with a sensational voice full of power, charisma, mischief and – on the so-camp-Mercury-would-love-it Tatler Magazine - an endearingly theatrical and playful sense of humour.

You can’t help but be swept away by the Struts’ joie de vivre and vintage posturing. Snobs will no doubt hate them for exuding glamour, having fun and shamelessly aspiring to superstardom, but that’s exactly what makes them such a refreshing breath of decadent, perfumed air.

The Struts Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sat February 16 2019 - LEEDS Stylus
Sun February 17 2019 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Mon February 18 2019 - NEWCASTLE University Student Union
Tue February 19 2019 - GLASGOW Glasgow Garage
Fri February 22 2019 - BRISTOL SWX
Sat February 23 2019 - MANCHESTER Manchester Academy 2
Sun February 24 2019 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute
Tue February 26 2019 - LONDON O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire

Click here to compare & buy The Struts Tickets at Stereoboard.com.



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