Much more alive then most of the more or less musical products delivered by the nowadays not even fifteen minutes superstar kids, The Stranglers are kicking like a mule with their 17th studio album delivered in their 38 years of “constant success”. Just read it somewhere that the combined age of their current line-up totals 242 years, while Baz Warne (guitars, vocals) who joined the band in 2000 with his springing 47 years is the youngest of the band, while founder member, drummer Jet Black (born Brian John Duffy) is 73. And still, just as I said, this “old dudes” are fresher then many of plastic s*its the industry delivers on fake golden plates tagged and labeled as “best” of something. There is no auto-tuned screaming, no wobbling basses, no frequency oscillations, there is no make-up and no self-pity post-emo painted in black emotions, just four guys playing music. Simply, straight and for real.
The Stranglers had major mainstream success with their single “Golden Brown”, while several other songs became hits include “No More Heroes”, “Peaches”, “Always the Sun” and “Skin Deep”. They are are the longest-surviving band to have originated in the UK punk scene of the mid to late 1970s. Beginning life as the Guildford Stranglers on 11 September 1974 in Guildford, Surrey, they built a considerable following within the mid-’70s pub rock scene, being one of the instigators of the UK Punk Rock, but along the way the group went on to explore a variety of musical styles, from New Wave, Art Rock and Gothic Rock through to the sophisticated Pop of some of their 1980s output. Can say many things about The Stranglers, but they never were mediocre or boring.
Still, some critiques probably will throw-up the question if this line-up could score a hit to rank alongside such former glories as “Golden Brown” and “No More Heroes”? Maybe not, although “Mercury Rising” for instance is one of their best song, just like “Freedom Is Insane”, “Boom Boom” or the title track, and if “Giants” was the work of some NME or Q Magazine favorite newcomers, the fine media would proclaim them kings instantly. But well, while they are around for a while now, unfortunately this album will probably reach out for a more narrower audience.
01 – Another Camden Afternoon
02 – Freedom Is Insane
03 – Giants
04 – Lowlands
05 – Boom Boom
06 – My Fickle Resolve
07 – Time Was Once on My Side
08 – Mercury Rising
09 – Adios (Tango)
10 – 15 Steps
Bass player Jean-Jacques Burnel and Baz Warne write all of the 10 songs and split the vocal duties. Dave Greenfield filled up the space with some huge keyboard layers while Black banging his drums just like back in ’74. “Some of the ideas stem back to 10 years ago – said JJ Burnel – You can’t always make a decent song with just one idea and we’ve been mulling over some ideas for quite a few years.”
This is probably one of the best albums you can get this year, any more talking about it’s useless: music is great, speak for itself and hopefully we won’t have to wait another six years until the next one.
The Stranglers – Official Site
The Stranglers @ Facebook
WOW … no more boy bands anymore… these guys like the Fall before them, with just one song can render the whole history of the boy bands not only useless but show it for what it is … a denial of what writing a song is about!
Glad they are still around, man. They were – and probably remains – one of my biggest influences. But beyond that, this is still great music to fill up “our empty spaces”.