London glam rockers The Struts return with their third album. Lead cut is Strange Days which features the incomparable pop legend Robbie Williams. A magnificent, sprawling and string-laced duet, it’s a tender-hearted epic that offers incredible solace in the most chaotic of times. The song came about – along with the rest of the ten-track album – as a result of the band’s enforced lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic but started out as an idea lead singer Luke Spiller originally had on a tour bus last summer. It then took on a life of its own as a result of a chance encounter online.
Another standout cut is Another Hit of Showmanship, which features Albert Hammond Jr of The Strokes and centres on another poignant vocal performance from Spiller, who deftly channels the tension between giving in to temptation and rising above your demons. After laying down the initial version of the track, Spiller reached out to Hammond, for whom the band opened on a series of 2018 solo shows.
And these two tracks are just some of the spectacular delights on offer on the Strange Days album. In an organic turn of events for a band massively embraced by some of rock-and-roll history’s greatest icons—a feat that’s included opening for The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Guns N’ Roses—Strange Days finds The Struts joining forces with not only Robbie Williams and Albert Hammond Jr, but also Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott and Phil Collen on the hip-shaking stomper I Hate How Much I Want You. And on the band’s heaviest track to date, the fierce and filthy anthem Wild Child, the four-piece of Spiller, guitarist Adam Slack, bassist Jed Elliott, and drummer Gethin Davies, are super-charged by the blistering guitar work of Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello.
Elsewhere the explosive All Dressed Up (With Nowhere To Go) unfolds in snarling power chords and exquisitely cheeky lyrics while the beautifully weary Burn It Down, finds The Struts slipping into a bittersweet mood, serving up a slow-burning ballad that sounds straight from the sessions for Exile on Main St. The sole cover song on Strange Days, Do You Love Me sees The Struts updating a fantastically sleazy track first recorded by Kiss in 1976.