Technically this is The Struts’ second coming. Everybody Wants actually debuted in 2014, then promptly sank without a trace. We could theorise, gripe and lament as to why this happened, but either way it does mean that the Derby rockers can now enjoy sparkly ‘newcomer’ status. Which they do – no sparkle spared, however camp.
Late last year a small group of us saw them play London’s 100 Club. We left unanimously, slightly giddily, declaring it one of the best gigs we’d been to. Old fans and first-timers alike hung on every note. Total strangers embraced (British strangers! Fuck, London strangers!) and danced with gleeful abandon. No pose, costume change or rolled ‘rrrrr’ was too much for Freddie Mercury-hailing singer Luke Spiller – qualities that transfer wonderfully onto the record (except the costume changes, though you still get a pretty damn good sense of those).
Unlike many of their contemporaries, The Struts appreciate the value of a great chorus and know how to write one. Accordingly, several tracks sound like hit singles (Kiss This, Put Your Money On Me, Dirty Sexy Money, Could Have Been Me…), and singalong moments come thick and fast. It’s similar to the kind of all-sequins-blazing vibe created by The Darkness back in 2003 – albeit with more pop, and more liberal references to Queen and Slade.
Clearly it’s not remotely ‘cool’. It sounds nothing like the mainstream music being made by artistes of their age right now. And yet Everybody Wants is so brilliantly accessible it’s difficult to imagine it not having some sort of wider reach. To our admittedly biased, classic rock’n’roll loving mind, it just seems logical that a lot people should like it. Fiercely catchy pop tunes + loveable performers + first rate delivery = popular band. Right? Weeeell….
Of course, it might all come to nothing. Again. But as they make friends in America and the album makes its way to more listeners, the initial omens at least *seem* positive. In any case, we love it and totally think you should buy it; it’s one of the most smile-inducing debuts we’ve heard in years.