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And Girls Club

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Album Review

An awful lot of contemporary garage punk albums sound as if the people who recorded them never listened to any music recorded before 1977; they're built around walls of fuzztone snarl and affected, attitudinal wailing that may reflect the current state of the art of garage rock, but they hardly recall the more measured sound of the music that came out in the 1960s. To their credit, Strange Boys are one of the few contemporary bands whose sound truly blends past with present; while they can rock and rock hard, the blues-influenced approach of the band makes room for the folk-rock leanings of the middle-period Kinks and Rolling Stones, and Ryan Sambol's vocals fuse a post-punk wail with a Dylan-influenced drawl that reflects the vocal shrug that was so much a part of the garage sound back in the day. And in part because they don't sound like they're struggling to maintain an authentic period sound, the Strange Boys come closer to getting the mood of the first garage era right than almost anyone else playing this stuff in the 21st century; on their debut album, The Strange Boys and Girls Club, the band sounds like four guys in a small studio, playing their music with a relaxed intensity that is all the more effective because they don't appear to be howling through Marshall Stacks, but instead beating out the sounds in their heads through cheap gear with a realistic, passionate timbre that sets them apart from the vast majority of their peers. The songs on this album are simple, smart, and soulful, and the performances are classic-style blue-eyed R&B that gets its message across without beating the listener over the head; The Strange Boys and Girls Club is the sound of real kids opening up their hearts and minds through rock & roll, and anyone who digs the truer sound ought to pick it up.


Formed: 2002 in Dallas, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Brainwashed by years of exposure to an American Bandstand cassette (a circa 1966 show, apparently) in their mother's car, brothers Ryan and Philip Sambol started bashing out their own take on British and psychedelic rock while still attending high school in Dallas, TX. With Ryan on guitar and vocals, and Philip on bass, the brothers honed their retro sound on their own before enlisting Matt Hammer on drums and Greg Enlow on guitar and keys, forming the group now known as the Strange Boys in 2004....
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And Girls Club, The Strange Boys
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