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And Girls Club

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iTunes Review

Austin’s Strange Boys released several EPs before this full-length debut appeared on primo garage-rock label In the Red (home of Thee Oh Sees, Jay Reatard, Black Lips, etc.). Landing on the perfect label might seem a stroke of great luck, but surely this young band’s musical skill played a part in the deal. Sounding like a sour mash of early Bob Dylan/Van Morrison (“Woe Is You and Me,” “Should Have Shot Paul”), classic AM radio R&B (“This Girl Taught Me a Dance,” “A Man You’ve Never Known”), and present day cow-punk (“MLKs,” “Then”), Strange Boys bring a sweat on before you even get out of your chair. Vocalist Ryan Sambol howls and warbles like a drunk who lost the brawl but needs to finish his sentence, while the rest of the band churns out walls of vintage guitar jangle and twang set to boisterous, roiling rhythms. Tracks like the gritty, grinding “Heard You Want to Beat Me Up,” the opiate-colored “For Lack of a Better Face,” and the reverb rave-up  “Poem Party” pay tribute to countless ‘60s garage bands whose names are forgotten by many, but whose inspiration runs deep.

Customer Reviews

The most promising Rock band to come out in awhile!

I've seen these guys live twice and I was blown away. They play garage rock better than bands that have been playing it for decades and they're just barely in their 20's. This album in an amazing debut for such a very young band. They are the Felice Brothers of garage rock! Some of the most genuine rock music out there today

A Post-Modern Classic

This is the best album I've heard in a long time. I'm sort of into the rockabilly scene these days, but have a history of loving straight-up punk and hardcore, too. This album satisfies my newfound retro leanings, particularly those that lean towards Hank Williams (the eldest) and early country/rock and more recently Holly Golightly's oeuvre complete, as well as my edgier punk side. What is astounding is how young the musicians are and how relatively new their band is. Yet they play like seriously experienced musicians who've lived hard lives. I suppose they are as precocious as Johnny Cash must have been when he started singing about prison, but the Strange Boys seem genuine in their experiences. Tracks 7 (Heard You Want to Beat Me Up), 13 (Then), and 15 (Probation Blues) are my personal faves, but the entire album is rich with a blues-y, almost delta twang that anchors the Velvet Underground-ish electrics and Sonic Youth-ish distortion and reverb. Simple lyrics that pack a lot of meaning turn short song bursts into epics. I hope to see these guys live soon. In the meantime, I highly recommend this album to everyone.

Accolades are deserved . . .

My friend and I saw them at a small punk bar in Fort Wayne this last weekend. Incendiary performance! They do it better than many of their forebears, with their Fender Telecasters and moppy hair. One of the best bands I have seen in a small venue. These guys are the real deal.


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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