The Strange Boys

And Girls Club

An educated guess might tell you that The Strange Boys’ music collections include one or more of the following: Bo Diddley, Dylan, The Beatles, maybe some Kinks. In an interview, guitarist/vocalist Ryan Sambol said he and his brother (bassist Philip Sambol) grew up listening to an old Best of American Bandstand cassette from their parents. Makes sense. The Texas (Austin by way of Dallas) four-piece plays amped-up rock ’n’ roll sliced right off the rhythm-and-blues bone. It would be easy to dismiss these old souls (three of the four members are in their early-20s) as just another garage-rock throwback … if the songs weren’t so good. In fact, And Girls Club is the best rock record of the year thus far. The Bloodshot-inspired country of “MLKs” and “Then” sidles alongside greasy ’50s bangers “This Girl Taught Me a Dance” and “Probation Blues.” Most refreshing is that there are no silly mop-tops or retro garb to be found on these kids—just a bag full of blues licks, slick hooks and Ryan Sambol’s cheeky lyrics. Of course, deciphering Sambol’s love-it-or-hate-it, nasally slur might be a challenge … although the single line—“dropped the wrong Mop Top”—from “Should Have Shot Paul” is pretty self-explanatory.