There’s definitely a bit of pavement between the Strange Boys and their “garage” rock brethren. There’s a delicacy to Live Music that doesn’t appear on their peers’ records. Unfortunately for them, there are some striking similarities: Although the sound is there and it sounds “cool,” that’s where the fuse goes out. After listening to the record a few times through I could only recall one or two of the melodies of these songs. One of which is the song that they’re surely using as a single “Me and You.” This isn’t meant to sound aggressively harsh as these songs do have much more finesse than the average boring “garage” tune, however I’m not convinced that the songwriting is that much more advanced.
The record is very, very, very same-y. It seems like the whole record is stuck in a barroom during the gold rush. The constant gallop is interesting at first but by the time that "My Life Beats Me" comes in (just past half way through the record) you just want to get off the horse. This isn’t helped by the constant Muppet-ing of their singer. I know, I know, that’s probably all anyone ever talks about when they mention this band in reviews but there’s a reason for that. Me, I think it works in smaller doses. Much like the constant swing to the tempos, it just wears out before the album finishes.
All in all, bands could do much worse than the Strange Boys have for themselves. They’re obviously skilled musicians and it’s clear they pay attention to the finer things in their songs. It’s produced well and the band is fun to watch live, but I think I’ve played Live Music in its entirety for the last time. [Rough Trade]
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