Hailing from Derbyshire, The Struts are a funny find. You can’t tell whether they’re boy band or rock band, but in an age where we call One Direction rock, what’s the difference anymore? Confident frontman Luke Spiller claims he was “born to do this”; claiming too many other bands “are looking over their shoulder” may be a bold statement that could get either of the Gallagher brothers in the headlines – but it’s strange how a band compared to the likes of Kasabian and Oasis have toured with McFly of all bands. You could wonder about the downside of being so sure early on – after all look what happened to Slough band Brother. Slated as the next Oasis, with one Brit Rock single ‘New Years Day’ and plenty of cockiness spare, they were doomed by NME from the start, setting up a ridiculously unattainable benchmark for the new kids on the block. But credibility and comparisons are merely side notes, what really matters is the music that’s brought forth.
Everybody Wants is undeniably catchy and dripping with hooks destined to snag your ears. The quick clap of ‘Could Have Been Me’ followed by it’s head rush riff licked with generous bass slaps stand as one of the records best moments. Along with this comes the tongue in cheek ‘Kiss This’ that brings on the “oh oh oh oh’s” in good measure, we get a dark poppy edge from ‘Black Swan’ which dances through it’s despair with it’s shredded up guitars and brittle drum taps. You can even boogie a little to filthy disco rocker ‘Dirty, Sexy, Money’ which oozes seductive strings for a funking good time. For all that’s great on the album, there is room for improvement. Take ‘Let’s Make It Happen Tonight’ – the Temples-lite guitar grinder that delivers the trademark strut that’s promised of this band but could soar into more adventurous territory, while ‘Put Your Money On Me’ and ‘She Makes Me Feel’ sound far too polite for the kind of rock and roll The Struts can offer up. Opener ‘Roll Up’ is a thrilling rock and roller coaster that emits the sort of cocky flamboyance that The Darkness promote; The somersaulting vocal draws you in to a song that demonstrates the killer theatrical flair that’s downplayed in turn for a more generic approach that feels too stylised for a wild side that they can clearly indulge in. Here they have an exciting start that enthrals you but you can’t help feeling that sometimes the same exuberance could have been exerted on other songs on this record.
But that is not to say the album doesn’t impress, for the first release they certainly prove they have what it takes to become the snarling rock upstarters that they have the potential to be. Despite the background coo’s, ‘My Machine’ is a sunny storm of furious riffs that matches the hair metal of ‘Roll Up’, while ‘You and I’ is the closest thing to a ballad on the album, which Luke Spillers raw vocal takes on with relish. Everybody Wants is a driven debut effort that may not have everybody wanting The Struts, but enough to ensure they’ll get the recognition they deserve.
Everybody Wants is out now on Virgin EMI Records.