Whoever said that “rock and roll is dead” clearly never accounted for The Struts. Formed in Derby, England in 2010, the foursome consisting of Luke Spiller (lead vocals), Adam Slack (guitar), Jed Elliott (bass) and Gethin Davies (drums) has been one of Britain’s best kept secrets – that is, until last month (July 2015), when the band signed a US record deal with America’s venerable Interscope Records and released their first song stateside, the dynamic ball-buster “Could Have Been Me.”
Watch: “Could Have Been Me” – The Struts
In the short period since that time, The Struts have invaded the ears and hearts of Americans nationwide. “Could Have Been Me” has amassed over 2.5 million plays on Spotify, hitting #1 on Spotify’s viral chart, and it is still rising on Billboard’s “Rock Airplay” and “Hot Rock,” “Alternative,” and “Mainstream Rock” songs charts, where it currently lies in the 8th, 24th, 8th, and 14th positions. To further the buzz, The Struts premiered an exciting new music video for “Could Have Been Me” today and will be making their American television debut tonight (8/20/2015) on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
If it feels like things are moving fast for these British rockers, it’s because they are: The band released their American debut EP last week, the four-track (and aptly titled) Have You Heard, along with an official announcement for their first stateside tour – including already sold out shows in New York, DC, and Chicago!
The Have You Heard EP could not be more appropriately named. Assuming and elevating, it captures that fast-paced, in-the-moment fervor of The Struts’ furious establishment and escalation. The title is also reminiscent of certain forebears in the ‘British invasion’ canon: Introducing… The Beatles was The Beatles’ first American release, and England’s Newest Hit Makers was The Rolling Stones’ equivalent. Such stratospheric comparisons to rock music’s legends feel premature and inappropriate *at first,* but the parallels between these bands’ meteoric rises are undeniable.
This is the big break the band have been waiting for: Despite a heavy 2014 tour schedule (which included a Paris gig opening for The Rolling Stones), the band’s explosive full-length debut Everybody Wants, released exclusively in the UK July 2014 via Virgin EMI Records, managed to peak at 52 on the UK charts. Not bad for a band’s debut, but also not good enough – not for this band, at least. Yet perhaps that’s why they’re refocusing now on the American market: Crossing the Atlantic is how British bands become legends, or so the story goes.
Watch: “Put Your Money On Me” – The Struts
Watch: “Kiss This” – The Struts
Have You Heard offers anthemic, high octane guitar-driven rock in the form of four songs off The Struts’ previous record: “Could Have Been Me,” “Kiss This,” “Put Your Money On Me,” and “Where Did She Go.” The band’s obvious connection to classic rock greats like Queen and The Rolling Stones would otherwise create a sense of nostalgia about their music, but The Struts push right on through that, opting instead for an electrifying realm of aural possibility.
Powerful riffs, pounding beats, evocative singing, and catchy choruses come together on Have You Heard in a giant, fun-loving, no-regrets orgasm of pure, unadulterated rock. “Could Have Been Me,” the current radio single, introduces us to the band’s shameless rockstar mentality. Lead singer Luke Spiller emotes like Freddie Mercury atop a stadium-sized chorus:
I wanna taste love and pain
I wanna feel pride and shame
I don’t wanna take my time
I don’t wanna waste one line
I wanna live better days
Never look back and say
It could have been me
It could have been me
The Struts set their sights on glory long ago. “Kiss This” gives us a taste for guitarist Adam Slack’s knack for crafting catchy riffs, not to mention bassist Jed Elliott’s John Paul Jones-like ability to perfectly fill the empty spaces. “Put Your Money On Me” features a beautifully full overdriven guitar tone that will set your ears ablaze before motivating you to bob your head and stomp your feet with its delicious beat. “Where Did She Go” closes the EP off with an instantly memorable, gigantic chorus about the love who ran away.
In addition to the Have You Heard EP, diehards for The Struts can also find the band’s British EP, 2014’s Kiss This, featuring “Kiss This,” two more originals, and a Lorde “Royals” cover, streaming on SoundCloud. [The EP has since been removed from SoundCloud]
If The Struts are the next British Invasion band, bring ’em on! Interscope Records scored big by shepherding these boys – and being only in their mid-twenties, The Struts most certainly are “boys” – into the American market. They’ve got all the makings of a classic rock outfit, yet their electric edginess makes the Struts most certainly a new phenomenon. It’s refreshing to experience this brand of rock music in the twenty-first century.
Meet your next favorite band.
Listen: Have You Heard (EP) – The Struts
HAVE YOU HEARD TRACKLIST
1. Could Have Been Me
2. Kiss This
3. Put Your Money On Me
4. Where Did She Go
Watch: “Could Have Been Me” (live) – The Struts
The Struts’ 1st Stateside Tour
August 13 San Diego, CA House of Blues
August 28 Reading, UK Reading Festival
August 29 Leeds, UK Leeds Festival
September 5 Philadelphia, PA Made in America
September 6 Asbury Park, NJ The Wonder Bar
September 8 Hoboken, NJ Maxwell’s
September 11 Piscataway, NJ The Smiling Moose
September 12 Louisville, KY Mercury Ballroom
September 13 Sterling Heights, MI 98X Chill on the Hill
September 15 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall
September 17 Minneapolis, MN 7th Street Entry
September 19 Las Vegas, NV iHeartRadio-Daytime Village
October 19 Atlanta, GA The Earl
October 20 Charlottesville, VA The Southern
October 21 Washington, DC Rock and Roll Hotel
October 23 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
October 24 Philadelphia, PA Ortlieb’s Lounge
October 25 Boston, MA Middle East Upstairs
October 26 Buffalo, NY Ironworks
October 28 Nashville, TN The High Watt
October 29 St. Louis, MO Blueberry Hill-Duck Room
October 31 New Orleans, LA Voodoo Music & Arts Experience
November 1 Dallas, TX Club Dada
November 2 Austin, TX Stubb’s BBQ
November 4 Scottsdale, AZ Pub Rock
Have You Heard – The Struts
Learn more about The Struts online at www.thestruts.com