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Strapps Review

by Richie Unterberger

Strapps' self-titled debut LP had deep ties to Deep Purple: drummer Mick Underwood had been in Episode Six with Ian Gillan and Roger Glover in the late '60s (and would in the late '70s join Gillan's band), and the album was co-produced by Glover. Predictably, there's some similarity to the sort of hard rock Deep Purple had popularized by the mid-'70s, though the similarity's not too intense. Less predictably, there's a good deal of Mott the Hoople-ism going on here, though this glam rock-hard rock crossover isn't nearly as good as Mott in the song or vocal department, even if songwriter and lead singer Ross Stagg has a way of sing-speaking that recalls Ian Hunter. There's some kinkiness, and even traces of S&M, in the opening cuts "School Girl Funk" and "Dreaming," an epic ballad with strings in "Suicide," and -- also in the mold of Mott the Hoople -- more prominent piano than in much such British rock music of the period. It's not bad, but it's derivative and the songs don't have enormous staying power, consigning this to the lower tier for those who collect obscurities of the late glam era. The 2004 CD reissue on Thunderbird adds historical liner notes.

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