Blast From the Past or Face of the Future? Introducing The Struts

 

Formed in 2012 in Derby, England, The Struts are a modern rock and roll band comprised of vocalist Luke Spiller, guitarist Adam Slack, bassist Jed Elliot, and drummer Gethin Davies. Since their formation in 2012, they have released multiple singles, an EP, and an acoustic album, in addition to their two full length LPs, Everybody Wants (2016) and YOUNG&DANGEROUS (2018). They have sold out headlining tours, opened for The Rolling Stones and Motley Crue, and toured with the Foo Fighters, all while garnering an immense fan base in the process. Their second album helped them gain more widespread popularity as alternative radio stations added the album’s hit single “Body Talks” to the regular song rotation. In addition, they released an alternative edition of “Body Talks” featuring Kesha that also made its way onto the air. In the span of just seven years, The Struts have created an impressive name for themselves while single-handedly bringing back the rock and roll sound and aesthetic.

Even though they are usually defined as a rock band, The Struts defy categorization into any genre of music. Their sound cannot be described by just one comparison or defined by just one label. The best description that I have found for their sound is an alternative and rock music collaboration heavily influenced by Queen. In fact, from Spiller’s vocals and appearance to the overall vibe and musicality of the band, there is no shortage of Queen comparisons that can be made. In addition, the band has also stated that they have been influenced by The Killers, My Chemical Romance, The Strokes, and Def Leppard. Classic rock, glam rock, alternative, indie — there is no one correct way to identify the genre that The Struts embody.

From ballads to anthems, The Struts’ songs are full of energy and emotion. Lyrics about fame, fitting in, losing love, and more span both albums. Every song is packed with prominent electric guitars, attention-demanding vocals, driving drums, and intricate bass lines. All of their music has an overarching cohesive, distinct sound while each song maintains its own unique appeal. There isn’t a single song that isn’t well-written or composed, a rarity in music that is much appreciated. It’s impossible to listen to a song by The Struts and not be overcome with emotion, whether it be inexplicable joy or deep sadness. With the exception of their tear-jerking slower tunes, most of their songs are perfect to tap toes, bob heads, and dance to. Their music is the kind of feel-good music that is hard to come by and even harder to let go of. Their catchy, chant-like choruses will be stuck in your head for days and you’ll find yourself humming their memorable melodies.

Although it’s nearly impossible to pick a single favorite song from their entire discography, there are some songs by The Struts that manage to edge out the competition and top my list of personal favorites. Starting with their debut album Everybody Wants, “Put Your Money On Me,” “The Ol’ Switcheroo,” and “Only Just A Call Away” stand out above the rest, each for their own reason. “Put Your Money On Me” opens with an electric guitar riff before a tambourine and the vocals join in to pick up the pace. This song closely resembles a classic rock song, guitar solo and all, and generally captures the essence of The Struts. Later on the album, “The Ol’ Switcheroo” appears, introducing a humorous aspect to the band while maintaining their driving rock sound. The lyrics depict the awkward situation of two couples who are each in love with someone from the other pair and proceeds to make the suggestion that the guys simply switch girlfriends. The song features a slowed down, chant-like repetition of the chorus towards the end which adds a fun divergence from the pace of the rest of the song. Finally, second to last on the album is “Only Just A Call Away.” Instead of a fun, quick paced anthem, this song is a heart-wrenching ballad about loyalty and heartbreak. Spiller’s voice clearly conveys the emotional struggle of the situation. I can’t promise you that you won’t cry listening to this song, but I will say that I warned you.

Moving onto their second and most recent album, YOUNG&DANGEROUS, my top three songs are “In Love With A Camera,” “Tatler Magazine,” and “Ashes - Part 2.” “In Love With A Camera” begins with an amazing, lively energy that immediately makes you want to dance. No matter what kind of a mood you are in when you start listening to this song, there will be a huge smile on your face by the time it ends. Everything about the song is upbeat and spirited, and as a bonus Spiller’s vocals in this song are especially impressive, from vocal runs to high note jumps. Another song that you should be sure to listen to is “Tatler Magazine.” Similarly to “The Ol’ Switcheroo,” the lyrics and Spiller’s pronunciation show the lighter, more playful side of the band. An anthem about fame and success, the tempo isn’t especially quick but the steady drums keep the song moving. Rounding out my YOUNG&DANGEROUS picks is yet another tear-jerker, “Ashes - Part 2.” This song is full of loss and longing, with gorgeous vocals and prominent bass. The Struts manage to perfectly convey the sweet sadness of remembering happy times with people who are no longer in your life.

Aside from original songs, The Struts have also released a cover of the song “Ballroom Blitz,” which is one of my all-time favorite songs to begin with. The Struts definitely do the original justice, and I figured that it deserved some recognition by at least a mention in this article.

The Struts make music like no other band has since the time of classic rock, bringing back heavy instrumentalization, atypical and creative lyricism, and high energy. The Struts are a welcome addition to the world of rock and alternative music, hopefully foreshadowing a larger return to older styles of music. While they currently are not reaching all the way up the east coast on their next United States tour, be sure to keep up to date with new tours and music on their official website, as well as their Instagram and Twitter accounts. If you’re interested in discovering their modern rock energy for yourself, you can find The Struts’ music on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube.

 

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