Strange boys from Austin, Texas make strange music. Lo-fi garage rock with heavy influence from the 60’s isn’t exactly chart topping, nor is it original. But the better picture to look at here is, why not? Why let a classic style go down the drain? I have no idea if this was recorded on analog tape, but it certainly sounds like it. If it wasn’t, it should have been. If you try to add anything to this that was made after 1969, we’re gonna lose any type of appeal that we have going here.
Ryan Sambol’s vocals, drenched in his southern whine and strain, fit the mood. He sounds like a kid recording with his friends after school when he should have been doing chores instead – his mom is gonna be pissed when she finds out that he wrote No Way For A Slave To Behave or They’re Building The Death Camps when he should have been washing the family car. She may also question his emotional state with those song titles. But hey, pay it no mind mom, let me have some fun!
There’s nothing overly complex here, but their are some small surprises along the way. The Strange Boys incorporate a bit of bluesy riffs into some of their tunes (see: To Turn A Tune Or Two), and when the key harmonica enters the lineup, you’ll say to yourself – “I want to hate this, but how can I?”
What harm are these kids really doing? Are they destroying something sacred? Are you offended that they may not know the greats? Have you even heard of The Kinks, you insignificant pieces of…
These guys are probably smarter than they let on, but that’s not really for us to decide. When you get bits of surf rock thrown at you, you gotta learn to let it go and have some fun. They’re not trying to impress you – they’re not getting too wild. Most of these tracks stay pretty mid-range in tempo, as they should. This is record number one anyways – let them work out any insecurities that they may not be completely showing us. I know record number two will be an improvement, because any band has to iron out the kinks (“aw, he said the..”) that come along with their first record.
Music Purist One: But this kid just played a song called Probation Blues! He wasn’t even alive back when all that was going on. What business does he have writing that??
Music Fan One:….you’re thinking of Prohibition, sir. That’s a different word. You weren’t alive then either.
Music Purist One: Oh.
Music Fan One: Pour yourself an Old Fashioned. Relax.
If you had to listen to two tracks: This Girl Taught Me A Dance / To Turn A Tune Or Two