STRNGRS – Magic Boy – Music Review


Magic Boy  is a four song EP from NYC three-piece STRNGRS and they managed to cram more attitude and rock & roll into those four songs than most do in a full-length album.

Tell-tale twanginess introduces us on “Runnin’ Dry” before the vocals kick in, the singer sounding like a solid blend of Jack White and Robert Plant.  It’s hard to, in my brain at least, hear the song and not picture some poor, hungover bastard literally dying of thirst in the desert.  How did he get there?  What did he do last night?  Why are his ears ringing like that?  Easy, because STRNGRS were playing the chicken-wired stage at Patrick Swayze’s Roadhouse last night and this unfortunate soul was lucky to escape with his life.

“17 Letters” picks up the tempo and carries a solid rhythm for most of the song.  The guitar sounds like it’s strung with high-voltage power lines, however danceability remains low due to the fantastic, dirt breakdowns into which the band frequently devolves.

Following that, “Never Can Tell” is the part of the movie where the first cue stick is broken in half and beer bottle bottle thrown.  More rawness, more bluesy brilliance.  This track is probably my favorite on the EP.

Rounding out the EP, “Outta My Mind” is no sort of resolution to a good story.  This is right where the music feels like it has finally achieved full speed and intensity and you no longer want the next song as much as you need it.  This is clearly the part where all the bad guys are suddenly realizing that they may have tangled with the wrong dude and that killing Sam Elliott was probably a bad idea.  Just as the ass-kicking commences you’re left with silence and you’re a  little upset to be left in what feels like slide-guitar limbo.  Sure, you could go listen to something else, but why would you right now?

Magic Boy was an unexpected, pleasant surprise to hear and I hope it’s indicative of what’s going on in certain music scenes in New York and elsewhere.  The next time, however, that you leave me hanging with only four songs I’m busting skulls.  Fantastic work and I’m looking forward to hearing anything else STRNGRS have to offer.

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