The Strypes – Spitting Image

About as much fun as doing your taxes.

The Strypes - Spitting Image

About as much fun as doing your taxes.

Label: Virgin EMI
Released: 16th June 2017
Rating: ★★

Here at Dork, we have a saying: Down With Boring. We like unpredictability, capriciousness and most importantly, FUN. Unfortunately for Irish four-piece The Strypes, their third album, ‘Spitting Image’, is about as much fun as doing your taxes.

As with their previous records, The Stypes make no attempt to hide their influences, but there’s only so much calling back to the 1960s you can do before you start to expect The Beatles to rock up at any moment and kick the wannabes off stage. Speaking of the Fab Four, ‘Spitting Image’ is the kind of ‘rock’ music your nan would probably like; it’s all very… nice.

But ‘nice’ doesn’t mean ‘good’, and much of what The Strypes offer up here is blandness personified; ‘Consequence’ is the musical equivalent of vanilla ice-cream, Grin And Bear It sounds dated, and ‘Garden Of Eden’ gets very turgid very quickly. ‘Spitting Image’ is at its best when it ever so slightly threatens to show a bit of oomph, such as on ‘A Different Kind Of Tension’, but promising moments like these are too easily lost amongst a mass of dreary, inoffensive pleasantness.

Here’s the thing, though: ‘Spitting Image’, for the most part, isn’t ‘bad’ music. The problem is that it couldn’t be more ‘paint by numbers retro rock and roll’ if it tried. And at a time when bands like Blaenavon, Creeper and The Big Moon are doing really interesting things with alternative music, bands who don’t dare to share this ambition are going to fall by the wayside. Jake Richardson

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