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Album Review : The Struts – ‘Pretty Vicious’

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Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM

It’s often said that The Struts are ‘the new Queen’, the Derby quartet fronted by the flamboyant Luke Spiller and the band happily mixing genres in their grand rock style, but there’s so much more to them than that.

Since forming in 2012, the band have been carving out their own niche, fueled by incendiary live shows and a string of acclaimed albums that have nodded to the giants of the past whilst keeping their eyes set firmly on the future. With this, their fourth album, the outfit have turned the heat up further and produced their most mature piece of work yet and one that will assure their continued rise.

Kicking off things, ‘Too Good at Raising Hell’ sees a Rolling Stonesy swagger blended with a bit of Bowie and arch modernity, echoing the sort of cocksure style that their friend Robbie Williams mastered at his most priapic.

From there things head into sophisticated Britpop meets New Wave territory on the title track, Spiller’s vocals and the fretwork of Adam Slack hugely impressive as they unleash their inner rock gods. Listening to ‘I Won’t Run’ and ‘Hands on Me’ it’s also easy to see why the band have struck a chord the other side of the Atlantic, both radio friendly slabs of good time anthems made for playing loud in open top cars.

Whilst there are big statements here, the late ’70’s feel and bubblegum drive of the huge ‘Rockstar’ a prime example, the band also know how to do down and dirty and with its feel of a jam between AC/DC, Slade and The Stones, ‘Do What You Want’ is a filthy boogie joy.

With their influences shot through the writing, The Struts are musical magpies, picking up some shiny baubles from some of the best of the last five decades but artfully blending them into something that’s going to please a wide demographic in the way that The Darkness did two decades ago. That, in itself, is good news for rock music and is further proof that great songs, well played, will always have the ability to capture hearts.

The album closes with the wistful and wonderful atmosphere of the classic ’70’s storytelling ‘Somebody Someday’ and it’s a masterstroke to seal everything with something that leaves such a warm glow of nostalgia rather than a rampant rush to the finish.

Such is The Struts suss though, their ability to know just which buttons to press to make maximum impact confirming their status as a band here for the long term and set for the super leagues.

With ‘Pretty Vicious’, Spiller, Slack, drummer Gethin Davies and bass player Jed Elliott have produced something they can be rightly proud of and whilst they may not be as big as Queen yet, they’re certainly heading in the right direction and doing things their way. The Struts are stadium filling superstars in the making. 

Follow The Struts: Facebook:   / thestruts   Twitter:   / thestruts   Instagram:   / thestruts   TikTok:   / thestruts   Official Site: https://www.thestruts.com/

Pretty Vicious”: https://TheStruts.lnk.to/PrettyVicious_Album

Photo by: Anna Lee

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