There is no soft soap for The Strypes in Julien Tem­ple’s sharp mu­sic doc­u­men­tary

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS -

Get them while they’re young? It’s a credo once em­braced by the Je­suits, as well as by the mu­sic in­dus­try, so the li­on­is­ing in some quar­ters-of Ca­van band The Strypes (all four mem­bers of which have yet to reach the ripe old age of 20) shouldn’t come as much of a sur­prise.

How­ever, fly-on-the-wall mu­sic doc­u­men­tary, The Strypes: Best Thing since Ca­van, is far from typ­i­cal. Di­rected by Bri­tish film­maker Julien Tem­ple, we get the usual home movies fea­tur­ing four­tous led-haired tyke splay­ing mu­si­cal in­stru­ments too big for them to carry. Fast-for­ward a few years, and the barely post-pubescent band play The Late Late Show, get signed by Uni­ver­sal, get praised for their gigs, get crit­i­cised for their ob­vi­ous ap­pro­pri­a­tion of a spe­cific mu­si­cal style, re­lease a weak de­but al­bum, and – then what?

What hap­pens next is where Tem­ple’s doc­u­men­tary gets very in­ter­est­ing. While it’s ob­vi­ous that the lads can play, their mu­si­cal modus operandi is ques­tioned as Tem­ple fo­cuses on how they ended up play­ing gui­tar-shred­ding rhythm’ n’ blues. Other creases ap­pear: men­tor ses­sions with in­dus­try song­writ­ers are aban­doned; their ma­jor la­bel A&R dis­misses a clutch of songs for their sec­ond al­bum; and there’s clear con­flict be­tween main song­writer, gui­tarist Josh McClory, and the rest of his mates.Cue fears about the fu­ture, parental fret­ting, and the sight of four teenagers (and a band) very much in flux. As the doc­u­men­tary signs off with “the story con­tin­ues”, we’re left won­der­ing if there’ll even be a sec­ond al­bum.

The Strypes: Best Thing since Ca­van, is on BBC Two, March 22, 10pm

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