On March 4th, English rockers The Struts re-issued their 2014 album Everybody Wants. Brimming with swagger and basking in their unabashedly over-the-top style, the album is a joy ride through ’60s classic rock tropes that is sure to please. Beginning with the charmingly self-aggrandizing “Roll Up”, the album keeps eight tracks from the original issue, interspersed with five new releases. “Could Have Been Me” and “Kiss This” are two of lead singer Luke Spiller’s best known tracks, and they propel the first quarter of the album along with their retro, bawdy (think: a dozen drunk guys singing along in a pub) rock.
Continuing with “Put Your Money On Me” and the more relaxed “Mary Go Round”, the album picks up again with “Dirty Sexy Money,” one of their more modern tracks. Although it explores no new territory lyrically (as several critics have pointed out, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Struts song that’s not about girls, cash, or cars, and this tune falls into at least two of those thematic ruts), this track really encapsulates the band’s sound and Spiller’s incredibly dynamic vocal performances.
“She Makes Me Feel Like” transitions into a sunny, ’70s vibe, complete with happy whistles in the background, but is quickly followed by another anthemic bit of rock-n-roll with “Young Stars”. Although individually, each song brings something new to the table, the big-chorus tracks are all very similar sounding and can be slightly repetitive when listening to the album straight through. Luckily, “Black Swan” keeps the album grooving by providing Spiller with a platform for some interesting vocal experiments and a solidly catchy back beat. Everybody Wants ends strong, with two new songs (including perhaps my favorite track, “Only Just A Call Away”) and closing with “Where Did She Go.”
The Struts is definitely a band defined by its influences. They’re a welcome vestige from a time gone by, a throwback cross between Mick Jagger and Freddie Mercury with bravado to spare. Although the album at times seems one-note or a bit too reliant on the greats that came before them, they’re so fun to listen to that the release’s flaws can be overlooked. Their 2016 tour is in full swing, and although they’re not coming to DC, you can check them out in Norfolk, VA on May 12th, or see the rest of their tour dates here.
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