Familiar Looking Strangers

Familiar Looking Strangers EP

Written by: MN on 24/07/2014 12:04:36

Hailing from Liverpool, Familiar Looking Strangers are a completely new discovery on my part but they have a very distinct sound that just brings back 90's nostalgia instantly. Perhaps it is the way their songs nod towards the very rootsy blues rock that featured heavily in many 90s films, like, believe it or not, Dumb And Dumber. With bands like Blues Traveller and early Ryan Adams filling the airwaves of the early-mid nineties, this could easily be imagined as released around the same time. That being said, this is in no way a negative thing as Familiar Looking Strangers have won my heart by their authentic songwriting skills. On this five track EP, virtually no tracks are weak and the variety is refreshing, especially in terms of the mood each track produces. The back to the roots approach is both present in song-composition but more especially in instrumentation, it is in every sense of the word, rocknroll.

Opener "State Of Mind" is a classic rocknblues epic with choir vocals and Springsteen-esque vocal delivery, albeit in a lighter tone register. "The Game" is carried by a very catchy chorus which leaves you humming hours after and lyrically, the storytelling abilities of Vinnie McPoland should also be noted. "Saturday Night" has a "cop-show" opening theme feel to it, but this relation soon fades as the song developes into a brilliant blues jam, not unlike what O.A.R (Of A revolution) or Dispatch are known for pulling off. "Anytime You Like" has more of a twangy, groovy and especially sensuous feel to it, and the organ piano provides a good backdrop to the distorted guitar groove. Lyrically, the song is a bit Jet-like and, admittedly, a bit corny. The EP-closer is "Is It Gonna Bleed" which is a much heavier production, leading ones thoughts to Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper, but the rocknroll stays in focus as the mouth harmonica squeals out a couple of high-rise notes.

Familiar Looking Strangers are a great rocknroll band, but whether they will be deemed relevant will be up to the public to decide. One thing is clear, their music is not anything new, but I guess this is where authenticity reigns over originality. The reason we have roots bands is exactly to keep in touch with the rocknroll lineage before us. Rocknroll will never die. Even in its most simplistic expression, it still remains a completely fool proof formula, and Familiar Looking Strangers is a geat example of that. That being said, I would like to see Familiar Looking Strangers manage the same consistency in another full LP.

Download: The Game, State Of Mind
For The Fans Of: Ryan Adams, Counting Crows, The Wallflowers
Listen: facebook.com

Release date 10.06.2014

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