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Live review of The Strange Boys at The Bullingdon
By Jack Olchawski
BBC Oxford Contributor

The Strange Boys
Ryan Sambol's voice completes The Strange Boys' brash sound

As soon as Texan outfit The Strange Boys take to the stage at the backroom of Oxford's Bullingdon Arms the room is filled with a keen anticipation.

It is as if everyone is aware that rock 'n' roll's best kept secret is upon them.

The Strange Boys' sound is like that of some of rock's earliest incarnations, whilst deliberately ignoring what has followed.

Their musical sound is almost somehow set in the past.

With a short introduction of simply 'Lets dance!' from frontman Ryan Sambol, tonight's audience is introduced to The Strange Boys unique blend of traditional rhythm & blues and garage rock.

It is Sambol's voice that completes their brash, raw and brilliant sound.

Listeners are likely to be reminded of Kings Of Leon's Caleb Followill's delivery on their earlier albums.

The line-up is completed with Phillip Sambol (Bass), Greg Enlow (Lead Guitar) and Mikey La Franchi (Drums) who all play meticulously this evening, like a well-oiled machine producing rusty vintage cars.

The majority of tonight's material comes from their latest album titled 'Be Brave' which was recently released outside of the United States on legendary label Rough Trade records.

'Be Brave' has garnished favourable comparisons to The Black Keys and early White Stripes albums.

The comparisons are just, although it would be unfair to underplay The Strange Boys' ability to play excellent rhythm and blues whilst consistently sounding confidently original.

Hearing their set feels like stepping back in time, but never a simple homage to early rock music or their peers.

It is a display of rock 'n' roll at its most refreshing, true to its original ethos and unapologetic.

Tonight's performance, without an encore, seems to stand to represent what continues to remain brilliant about underground music, no bells, no whistles, just music that is pure and shamelessly fun.

The Strange Boys are not a band to sit around and scrutinise in your bedroom, so in the words of Ryan Sambol, let's dance!

The Strange Boys rock The Bully
15 Apr 10 |  BBC Introducing
In pictures: The Strange Boys live
15 Apr 10 |  BBC Introducing


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