My heart is swelling with pride as I listen to the demo EP by the Dallas band The Strange Boys. Finally, a group has nailed the garage rock sound to an absolute perfection. First, wipe the garage rock comparison chalkboard clean. Far too many bands have attempted to emulate this sound, with their marketing team imaging them in that style while sounding nothing like it. On States Newest Noise Makers, these four young musicians show that they are well on their way to turning heads here in the US and beyond.
Their concise tunes almost seem like Texas' answer to the Arctic Monkeys, but with a much more low-fi punk vibe. This EP sounds as if it was recorded in the days of the Velvet Underground, warm and dirty, unpolished, pure rock & roll.
The Strange Boys are led by frontman Ryan Sambol, a young dude with an indescribable voice. In fact, the only thing his voice resembles is the loud, squealing sound of his guitar. He is backed by brother Phillip Sambol on bass and Matt Hammer on drums. If your name is Matt Hammer, you are born to pound the shit out of the skins, which he totally does.
These Texas youngsters somehow have managed to capture a timeless sound that goes well beyond their collective ages. Classic punk, blues and straight up rock all flow through the veins of this impressive band, and they seem to be getting attention wherever they perform. They have already sparked the interest of a few label peeps, so chances are we'll be hearing a lot more from this kickass band over the next few months.
States Newest Noise Makers kicks off with "All Kings Are The Same," clocking in at under three minutes. This is actually one of the longest tunes you'll hear on this EP. The guitar licks remind me a bit of Jonathan Fire Eater mashed with The Kinks. Catchy, dirty and mighty good, it is a great way to get things started. Up next is the bluesy "Be Careful With What You Read" and the straight-ahead rocker "Look Out Kid With A Gun."
I don't want to label these kids as "the next big thing," as that seems to be the kiss of death for far too many great up and coming bands, but I will say that The Strange Boys are the most promising rock band to emerge from Dallas in a long, long time. To check out their EP for yourself, every song is available for free from their website. For a sample, download "All Kings Are The Same" below.