Wednesday, November 30, 2011

REVIEW: The Strange Boys - Live Music

There is a saying in Austin--"keep Austin weird"--and Austin's The Strange Boys do nothing to counter than sentiment. After two promising LPs in 2009 and 2010, The Strange Boys And Girls Club and Be Brave, respectively, the band has released Live Music ("Live" is pronounced like "give", not like "hive") on Rough Trade. While the music remains idiosyncratic, it has settled into an amalgamation of garage, folk, shuffle blues and countrified R&B. While all of that might sound a bit, well, strange, the gang pulls it off quite delightfully. The band sounds tight and the performances seem confident. As I listened to it I was reminded of Mungo Jerry, and that actually is a darn good comparison to have, in my book.

The first single and opening track, "Me and You" --

Ryan Sambol and Matt Hammer began The Strange Boys in 2003. Hammer left in late 2009, and the current line-up is Ryan Sambol (guitar, lead vocals, harmonica), Philip Sambol (bass), Greg Enlow (guitar), Mike La Franchi (drums), Jenna E. Thornhill DeWitt (saxophone, backing vocals), and Tim Presley (backing vocals).

"Omnia Boa"

The Strange Boys have improved with each offering. They've always displayed energy and talent. But more important, on Live Music we hear the sound of a band finding their own voice. The elements are nothing new, but the way this band uses them makes their contribution seem unique and refreshing. Give them a try.

"you take everything for granite when you're stone"


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