The Strange Boys (playing at the Elbo Room on Sat/27) are as brave and cocky as their music would suggest, an obvious product of the southern state they call home. Hailing from Austin, Texas, their “don’t mess” attitude harmonizes perfectly with wailing garage rock and humid twang. Ryan Sambol’s nasally vocals remind me of a young Bob Dylan and complement the band’s '60s sound.
The four Texans started making music together in high school and have since developed a sound easily categorized alongside The Monks, The Seeds, The Black Lips, and San Francisco’s Girls. The tracks off their debut full length, The Strange Boys and Girls Club (In the Red), were recorded at their friend Orville’s house in Denton. They scratch and squeak, transmitted through an AM radio style filter, instructing listeners to throw back a few brews on the porch and let cigarettes burn down to their lips.
The Strange Boys don’t want to be the next hipster trend. They strive to be an outlet for escaping all the horrible shit that surrounds our daily lives: war, a rotting economy, and a twisted government. Standing atop their rusty soap box, the boys demand you stop your bitching and moaning long enough to hear what their guitars have to say.
I was curious about their sources of inspiration. Bassist Philip Sambol was kind enough to scribble down some items from of the member’s current playlists:
1. Abner Jay, various songs on some tapes
2. A mix tape a fan gave Ryan
3. Townes Van Zandt, Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas (Tomato, 1977/ Fat Possum, 2009)
4. John ‘Bloodcut’ Joseph, The Evolution of a Cro Magnon (PUNKHOuse) audiobook
5. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, season four
The Strange Boys
Sat/27, 9 p.m., $10
647 Valencia, SF.