𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 - this week: Woman - The Striders
Welcome all to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 playlists.
𝙒𝙤𝙢𝙖𝙣 - 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙎𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙙𝙚𝙧𝙨
Charles knows what women are like…
Women. Let’s talk about women. “You sexist, chauvinist pig! How dare you-” WAIT!!! I haven’t said anything yet. Damned trigger people. You see a man talking about women, and instantly you’re on the alert, ready to pounce. “But you’re obviously going to be saying something negative, otherwise why would you-“ WHY am I OBVIOUSLY going to say something negative…? What makes you think that? Am I that pessimistic that I only speak negatively of things? “A woman is not a THING!!” Yes, yes, I know that. That’s not what I meant, and you know it. Simmer down, and let me speak. Good God, if I said I was going to talk about black people, is that instantly no-go territory because I’m white? What if I was going to praise Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Dr. Dre and John Legend? “Oh, well that’s okay then”. So let me say something first. THEN you can decide whether pouncing is the necessary action. So. Ahem. Let’s talk about women.
Women are kind and sensitive. Women are selfish and brutish. Women are unstoppable go-getters. Women are lazy. Women are quick-witted and fun. Women are boring as sin. Women are pretty and sometimes gorgeous. Women are ugly and sometimes hideous. Women have the most natural sense of fashion. Women couldn’t give two hoots what they wear as long as they are comfortable. Women understand interior design and just GET what works. Women can’t tell a lamp from a vase. Women are extremely intelligent. Women, can’t tell a lamp from a vase. Women appreciate and revere men. Women despise men and think they are all pigs. Women are romantic and love being given flowers. Women think romance is dreamed up by Hollywood as a way to make money, and think being given flowers is patronising and cliché. Women love to shop. Women hate to shop. Women are honest and incapable of telling a lie. Women lie and lie and lie again. Women pay attention to detail. Women don’t even notice detail. Women love to cook. Women get takeaway meals every night because the kitchen smells like work. Women love to wear short dresses because it shows off their legs. Women hate to wear short dresses because it shows off their legs. Women wear makeup to enhance their natural beauty. Women wear makeup to invent their “natural” beauty. Women are down-to-earth and focussed. Women are in the clouds and muddled. Women are fixated on the idea of being a parent. Women can’t think of anything worse than having a child. Women can’t drive well. Women can drive well, but just choose not to (winky smiley face, before you all pounce).
I could go on and on. I DID go on and on. My point is this. All these things could be said of men too (yes, even the part about short dresses). This is really just a simple synopsis of people in general. We are all different. There is good. There is bad. There is mostly good, and occasionally bad. There is rarely bad with occasional good, though. There, my cynicism lies. You see, these days it is all supposed to be about equality. Which you all know. And yet, I have never seen such segregation in my life! I am sure - at least from memory - things and people blended better in the 90s than they do right now. I’m sure this can’t be true all over the world, but I think this segregation and constant chatter is not necessarily for the best. Yes: more contention. But putting an elastic band around various mahoosive numbers of people just can’t be the way for equality to work. I see the world as people. Nothing more than that. Not blacks and whites, not men and women, not straight or gay. Just people. And I don’t know why this is so difficult for people to get. The second you club a certain ”type” together, you have isolated them. They stand out, where they should be blending in. An employee shouldn’t take on someone because they’re white or because they’re black or because they are this gender or that. They should choose the best person for the job. And should be allowed to without fear of offending. Labels belong on tins of beans. Not people.
We CAN however zone in on one particular person and praise them to the heavens, or tear them to shreds. I will do one, who has done the other. A brand new member of the New Artist Spotlight has hit me in the face with their brand new single. Please welcome The Striders, with Woman. It’s not often I’m hit in the face by a woman. Or man, for that matter. Lately I have reviewed so many artists that just so happen to be from the UK. Yes, it just so happens to be that way. It ain’t because I’m biased towards my own nation. I pick the best. Nay, my favourites. Which is why this week’s pick is a band from Sweden. I won’t be roasting THESE Swedes. This is long hair and beard rock. Not to be confused with ZZ Top’s long beard and hair rock. Think grizzly, think gnarled, think raw and think power. Think blues with a bite. Think grit with aggression. We dig straight in with Mattias Gudasic on guitar (looking across between Ben Stiller and Alice Cooper), accompanied by Jonathan Lassila pounding the toms in self-defence, and Linnéa Burman knowingly going somewhere fast, BASSically. Instantly, this is my kinda rock. That cocksure thrust that steps on everybody’s toes and doesn’t mind to do so. This is tight leather and winklepickers. This is a show which proves they know what they’re doing. One man is close by, with something a cross between a saunter and a strut. Perhaps a stride... This is Victor Gustafsson getting ready for his big entrance on vocals. He can hold it no longer. The band pause for exactly one iota. Then Victor and Mattias explode with the most satisfyingly arrogant harmony on WOMAN!! They ain’t too happy with this lady. And frankly, without this kinda woman, the blues would simply never exist - at least from the man's point of view. But God damn, there is always something these singers just can’t shake. She is the woman you love to hate. The one you want to get away from, but just can’t. She’s got a hold on you, with those hypnotising eyes. She’s bayad. She’s sadistic. She’s not knitting sweaters by the fireside, that’s for sure. She is the fire! And she's knitting YOU. She has made these four rockers angry. But angry with a smile, Satan-style.
The energy. The ATTITUDE!! It is as relentless as the Duracell bunny, but much less fluffy, and certainly not pink. Exhausted from rocking so long, and withered by this temptress, we surface for air at the halfway point. Linnéa goes high, Jonathan finds his softer side and Mattias filters through those frequencies like rippling water. Throughout this brief breather, Victor sounds uncannily like Caleb Followill from Kings of Leon. Soon enough, they are back to their sound more akin to Deep Purple and Black Sabbath brought into the 21st Century, side by side with Jack White, Queens of the Stone Age and Joe Bonamassa. This woman, though... Don’t even attempt to walk away. Picking up the pace and running won’t help either. Ever tried going up a down-escalator. Just don’t bother. She’ll bring you down eventually. That’s the blues! To quote Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters, “The Deepest Blues are Black”.
The Spice Girls went on about Girl Power. I prefer to go with Lennon on this one: Power to the People.
Listen to 𝙒𝙤𝙢𝙖𝙣 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Spotify playlist HERE!
Listen to 𝙒𝙤𝙢𝙖𝙣 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Apple Music playlist HERE!
Watch 𝙒𝙤𝙢𝙖𝙣 on YouTube HERE!
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