Luke Spiller proclaimed to viewers of the latest Soccer Aid in early September that ‘these are strange days, but we will prevail, we will get through them’ during the paired back bridge section of their triumphant and hopeful lead single, featuring a computer generated Robbie Williams. This message seeps through an album of immense diversity, encompassing various elements of rock: from the Brian May-esque guitar riff at the conclusion of the epic ‘I Hate How Much I Want You’ to the jazzy ‘Burn It Down’. The former features deep, screaming vocals from Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot, and a heavy electric arrangement from his bandmate Phil Collen; adding a punch of metal, and ensuring the incredibly memorable hook has its intended anthemic feel. It’s contrast with the latter is startling, showcasing ‘The Struts’ indelible range, switching between hard glam rock and smooth, folky jazz in less time than it takes to change the needle on the record players that the lads music is truly made for.
There is certainly a timeless ambience on the project, characterised by the concluding track ‘Am I Talking To The Champagne (Or Talking To You)’, with a silky bass and electric arrangement underscoring Spiller’s soft spoken vocal, before a delightfully charming call and response between Electric Guitar and Saxophone. ‘Can’t Sleep’ evidently takes some inspiration from My Chemical Romance’s chaotic use of percussion and riff-controlled melodies, whilst ‘All Dressed Up (With Nowhere To Go)’ illustrates why Spiller has been described as the ‘love child’ of Jagger and Mercury. It is choreographed and tight rock and is followed by yet another stylistic change on their joyous rendition of Kiss’ ‘Do You Love Me’.
‘Strange Days’ is so heavy on collaborations that I would question if the band can stand on their own two feet; however, to enjoy the album you have to take it for what it is at face value; quite honestly very good fun, and a welcome injection of glam into our dreary pandemic reality.