If I close my eyes while listening to The Strange Boys, I see them in black and white. There is absolutely none of the high-def, 3-D, THX certified sensory overload entertainment we’re becoming accustomed to. They’re on a no-frills stage – in front of an audience of screaming teenagers. Think Mic Jagger in 1964 or Ray Davies in 1966 performing songs from Face-to-Face for the first time to an audience in the UK.
I’m not saying I have an overactive imagination. It’s really not hard to do considering they sound like a jangly mix of early Kinks and Stones, with some heavy reverb Ventures thrown in for good measure. There’s nothing new or groundbreaking here – but it’s assembled in a way that feels like something novel.I had the good fortune of seeing The Strange Boys a couple weeks back, after they were added to the Spoon/Deerhunter tour with no billing following a series of successful shows in their native Austin/Dallas. They looked like they were barely out of high-school and completely terrified to be on stage supporting a string of sold-out dates lining the East coast.
And maybe that’s the draw for me: a group of guys from Texas who aren’t yet old enough to rent a car can transport me back to a time that I’ve only seen in the movies or heard my parents talk about. The catch is – they do it in a way that doesn’t come across as imitation. In fact, it all comes together in a lo-fi concoction that rock purists would likely loathe…and that’s really the best part.
Strange Boys – This Girl Taught Me a Dance