Le Futur Noir
First Appeared in The Music Box, January 2007, Volume 14, #1
Written by John Metzger
The Strays debut Le Futur Noir might not be a perfect endeavor, but it is an interesting one. Fusing revolutionary posturing and punk-ish clatter with pop-leaning infectiousness and reggae undercurrents, the effort sounds, more often than not, like a long lost album from The Clash. Better still, unlike most who dare to traverse the hallowed halls of London Calling, The Strays miraculously manages to strike the perfect blend of angst and appeal. Even the Nirvana-derived tracks that serve as the setís bookends (Geneva Code and Servant of the Gun) succeed due to the sheer intensity of The Straysí delivery. In fact, the only real missteps on the set occur whenever the group ventures too far afield in an attempt to diversify and modernize its sound by copping from Oasis, most notably on You Are the Evolution. As it moves from the caffeinated dance grooves that wind through Block Alarm to the propulsive stomp of Let Down Girls to the raucous, consciousness-raising charge that fills Future Primitives and Start a Riot, The Strays takes what it needs from the past and fills it with a level of urgency that allows the band to plant its feet firmly in the present. A cover of Lords of the New Churchís Black Girl/White Girl is merely the icing on the cake. Itís now up to The Libertines (or whatís left of the outfit) and Arctic Monkeys to figure out how to respond.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2007 The Music Box