Harbouring an almost Peaky Blinders meets Football Casual sneer and swagger, Scarborough’s Stray Scene are a band for whom compromise means very little. Having spent the last few years turning heads in dingy basement venues and dives bars up and down the country, the various restrictions and lockdowns the UK has been subject to have hit the band hard – something evident in the sheer energy and aggression that’s exercised in their latest single “Chasing the Madman”.
It’s worth stating straight off the bat that the vocals here won’t be for everyone. Mining a similar vein as the Gallagher Brothers, there’s a certain snottiness here that might well deter any fair-weather listeners. Conversely, however, it’s also what gives “Chasing the Madman” much of its distinct personality.
Equal parts raucous northern indie and unhinged garage rock, there’s a ramshackle sense of DIY attitude at play that smacks of the likes of MC5 as much as it does more contemporary acts such as Idles or Slaves. Indeed, with this in mind, Stray Scene might well be indebted to heady, aspirational days of brit-pop, yet like the aforementioned, owe far more to the current despondency facing the nation.
As such, “Chasing the Madman” is a gritty and aggressive affair. As cathartic as it anarchic, it’s rock and roll brought back to the basics while Stray Scene are keeping their eyes to the future. It won’t be for everyone, but there’s plenty of people out there ready to lose their collective shit to this as soon as Stray Scene can get back on stage.