By now everyone knows The Strypes back story; four insanely talented school friends form band, appear on Late Late Show (the Toy Show no less), a few months later play every festival in the country, fast forward several years and they are one of the biggest bands to come out of Ireland in recent times receiving praise from everyone from Elton John to Dave Grohl. Does their latest offering “Hometown Girls EP” justify the hype? Or are they just another gimmick with a fantastic PR campaign?
Well let’s just answer that question straight away; yes, the hype is most definitely justified if lead track Hometown Girls is anything to go by. Instantly kicking off with high intensity guitar and drums, it grabs you for a wild three-minute ride and does not let go. Vocally, lead singer Ross Farrell sounds well beyond his years. Although the lyrics are about teenage lust, they too sound as though they were composed by someone far more experienced in life.
Second track is a live cover of blues track C. C. Rider, an exceptional showcase for the talents of Josh McClorey on lead guitar. Recorded at Glasgow’s King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, again Farrell’s vocals impressive with a deep almost growl at times quickly changing to screams.
Closing track Stormy Monday is another live track and another cover. A slower tempo than previous tracks, it is none the less an extraordinary display of musical ability by the band. Tight, polished and crisp it is difficult to believe this was not recorded in studio.
Although there’s no denying the Cavan quartet are an amazingly talented and tight band it is a shame that the EP features two live covers rather than original studio material. Strypes are clearly well capable of composing a tune so we can only assume they are keeping the originals close to their chests until the release of their début album. That aside, ‘Hometown Girls’ is a remarkable EP that showcases the potential The Strypes posses, expect to be hearing a lot more from these boys in the future.