The Struts, Pretty Vicious Review
The Struts, Pretty Vicious Review
Embarking on their most audacious journey yet, The Struts have unleashed their fourth studio album, Pretty Vicious. The Struts produced the album with the renowned Julian Raymond and executive oversight from Scott Borchetta. The project is the band’s first album under the auspices of Big Machine/John Varvatos Records. The album, a collection of 11 tracks released on November 3, 2023, is a veritable feast of sonic exploration, weaving the visceral energy of their live performances into a cohesive studio narrative that captures the essence of a band at the zenith of their powers.
Meet The Struts, a band that personifies the modern spirit of rock with a flamboyant twist. At the forefront is Luke Spiller, the enigmatic lead vocalist whose dynamic stage presence and powerful voice are the band’s linchpin, captivating audiences with every note. Commanding the 6-string with a blend of raw power and melodic finesse is guitarist Adam Slack, whose riffs and solos resonate with the timeless echo of rock’s golden era. Jamie Binns holds down the groove, whose bass lines provide the throbbing heartbeat of the band’s sound, a foundation as solid as stone. The percussive maestro, Rafe Thomas, is completing the quartet on drums, whose rhythms are the thunderous pulse driving the band’s high-octane performances. Together, they form The Struts, a tour-de-force of musical prowess and show-stopping theatrics.
The opening salvo, “Too Good at Raising Hell,” is a raucous anthem that sets the tone with its unapologetic riffs, and Spiller’s energetic vocals perfectly encapsulate the song’s themes of excess and rebellion. Packed with a driving chorus and climbing guitars, the tune perfectly introduces a freshly perfected sound brimming with riotous appeal. Spiller’s vocals sound energetic, and his frontman persona is spot-on for the tune’s subject matter. Slack brings the required rock riffs with his excellent crunchy British guitar tone, as Binns and Thomas keep the drive on bass and drums, respectively.
In the title track, “Pretty Vicious,” The Struts navigate a stylistic shift, blending ’80s pop-rock vibes with a polished modern sheen. Slack’s crisp guitar work provides a counterpoint to Spiller’s charismatic vocal delivery, which dances across the melody with the grace of a seasoned frontman’s attitude. The production shines, ensuring each instrument’s sonic is heard and appreciated, particularly during the bridge—a momentary respite before the song reignites with renewed vigor.
“I Won’t Run” and “Hands on Me” transport the listener to the sleek intersection of pop-rock and New Wave, with radio-friendly hooks that are both nostalgic and refreshing. The tracks are tailor-made for stirring a celebratory atmosphere, crafted with an expert touch that beckons the listener to sing along. The band sounds comfortable making these style changes, and that gives the album its variances in styles and overall flow.
With “Do What You Want,” The Struts dip into bluesy waters, channeling an energy reminiscent of rock legends The Rolling Stones. Spiller’s rich and commanding vocals traverse the soundscape with a presence that is impossible to ignore, delivering lyrics that are evocative and ripe with imagery.
“Rockstar” showcases the band’s flair for dramatic build-ups and catchy melodies, with a playfulness that permeates the verses and a chorus that builds into an electrifying crescendo. The synergy of vocals, bass, and drums, topped with a hip-shaking riff, establishes the track as a standout anthem that could quickly become a staple in their live repertoire.
Pretty Vicious is an album that highlights The Struts’ ability to craft attitudinal rockers and their skill at infusing their music with a sense of fun and infectious energy. The production quality is pristine, making each song an auditory delight that allows the listener to fully engage with the intricacies of the music.
In sum, Pretty Vicious is a bold statement from The Struts, a band unabashed in embracing Glam Rock’s grandiosity and its potential for renewal within the contemporary scene. With this album, The Struts pay homage to the rock legends that preceded them and carve out the next tier in their legacy, proving that rock music is as vibrant and vital as ever.
Big Machine Label Group
November 3, 2023