The new EP from Familiar Looking Strangers clocks in at barely 16 minutes, but it’s amazing how much rock and roll energy this British five-some is able to pack into that space. Delivering great pop-rock that takes flavors from their Liverpool hometown sound, along with big Americana rockers like Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen, the five songs on the album are all flat-out winners. This is less like a short full album than a condensed collection of singles in that each song has the strength and intensity to be a stand-alone offering.
The Familiar Looking Strangers have already released one full-length album (2012’s Love, Hate and Heartbreak) and the band just wrapped up a US tour road-testing material for their second LP due out later this year, and another tour in 2014. The vibe we’re getting from this EP is that the band had some really great material that they just couldn’t wait to get out there, so they made this EP as something to build on the buzz of their first album and appetize fans for the next. And it’s working.
Vocalist Vinny McPoland leads the FLS crew of Paul Baker and Carlos Lopez on guitar, John Goldby on bass and drummer Ben Gorry into classic FM hit-rock space with an ear for harmonious arrangements and authentic energy. They have that magical balance of familiarity and originality, actually expressing the philosophy of their band name in what they do. They’re walkin’ what they’re talkin’ and they are doing it in style. And it’s awesome!
If you haven’t checked out the The Familiar Looking Strangers yet, you need to put them on your playlist like yesterday because they deliver great, anthemic rock and roll just like in the good old days. Their musicianship is first-rate, the songwriting is legendary and the band grooves together like a single beast with power and grace. This is a great band with enthusiasm, talent and a new vintage philosophy. Get it.