The Spitting Image of success

by Nick Fitzgerald

CAVAN band The Strypes proved they’re ready to tear ‘strypes’ off the competition with their new album Spitting Image, which launched recently at Thomas House in the Liberties.
It’s now been almost two years since Ross Farrelly (lead vocals/harmonica), Josh McClorey (lead guitar/vocals), Pete O’Hanlon (bass guitar/harmonica) and Evan Walsh (drums) created Little Victories back in 2015.
Producer Ethan Johns has perfectly captured the band’s rawness, honing their talents and showcasing it to the full in Spitting Image, surely the band’s greatest feat, to date
Their highly-anticipated third studio album hooks listeners from the beginning, thanks to its short snappy songs with dark, melancholic and atmospheric narratives
The 13-track album opens with Behind Closed Doors, where a riveting drum beat and guitar rift meets the airwaves. The catchy tune emphasises Ross’s powerful and clear vocals that sound well beyond his years.
(I Need A Break From) Holidays speeds up almost instantly and is reminiscent of a classic rock song. It’s punchy with short and repetitive lyrics that hook you in – the tracks are just two highlights of Spitting Image’s great combination of short, snappy songs with a darker side.

Evan told The Gazette: “It’s a funny thing – the level of notoriety we’ve achieved luckily isn’t enough that people recognise us, or know who we are, but at the same time they do.
“It’s interesting. It’s been great, rising up the ladder of gigs, playing bigger gigs as you go along and crowds getting more into the band and knowing the songs – that’s all fantastic.
“Our home lives haven’t changed at all. We all still live in Cavan. We all want to get back as much as we can. Basically, whenever we’re not travelling or touring, that’s where we are.”
On the background to Spitting Image, Pete piped up: “It’s very parochial – the thematic content of the lyrics. It’s very much … because we’ve spent so much time at home, it’s rooted in a home-life sort of thing.
“It’s very simple stuff; it’s stuff that’s partial [to us], but also [stuff] everyone’s gone through in their life – it’s not anything that’s particularly personal to us.
“We like the idea of songs having a story: a beginning, middle and end, like act one, act two, act three, much like bands like Squeeze that would have a narrative in a story, quite like a third-person observer. There’s a lot of that in it as well.”
On Spitting Image’s sheer energy, Josh said: “I suppose another massive difference this time around was Ethan Johns, who produced the record, being involved. He just brought a very new attitude to recording for all of us.
“He was the first person to really capture the sound of the band live, and that energy, just the way he was able to filter through all of the songs and get the best out of all the songs.
“It was a very different experience than the first two records, and it has definitely benefited this record.”

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