Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Feb 24th 2010 4:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
"I'm stuck with it, you know?" Sambol tells Spinner, less than impressed by his own strained, moaning, sneering delivery. "I try to make the best of it. On 'Be Brave,' I tried to relax a little more and try to let it be a little more natural. It could have been a little better, but I just try not to think about it now."
True, Sambol is no Pavarotti, but it's hard to imagine anyone else fronting the Strange Boys. Although the Austin-based band scoffs at the "retro" label, its songs celebrate the spirit of 1966, the year Bob Dylan cut 'Blonde on Blonde,' the 13th Floor Elevators dropped the classic single 'You're Gonna Miss Me' and non-virtuosic teenage warblers everywhere took to their garages, convinced that they, too, could be rock 'n' roll singers.
Sambol, the group's main songwriter, says he never intended for the new record to contain more ballads than its 2008 predecessor, 'The Strange Boys and Girls Club.' The slow-tempo likes of 'Between Us' and 'You Can't Only Love When You Want To' -- both weary, 'Exile on Main St.'-style blues tunes -- simply popped out, for reasons he can't explain.
"It definitely has to do with our lives -- all four of us, or however many people were involved," Sambol says, his voice cutting in and out as the band, now a six-piece, thanks to the addition of a ex-Mika Miko saxophonist Jenna Thornhill-DeWitt and background vocalist Tim Presley, drives through Marfa, Texas.
If 'Be Brave' has a slightly more pronounced country feel, Sambol says that, too, was accidental. The Boys have always listened to country, he says, and it's one of many genres that inform their sound.
"It's only [considered] a crossover because someone already called it something else," he says, dismissing the sorts of genre labels he sees as useless. "You know, they say, 'You used to be psychedelic garage, and now I hear more country.' It's just because they used to call us 'psychedelic garage.'"