The Straddlerz: ‘The Straddlerz’

To be released on January 29, 2021 (The Straddlerz)

Coming off like a wicked spin of the Cherry Bombz fronted by a punked up and slightly snarky Lee Aaron, Italy-based rock duo The Straddlerz are a dirty rock fan’s 2021 wet dream. Take a very aggressive front lady with a whole ton of gritty feminine sass and sex appeal, toss in a great rock and roll guitarist that looks the ’80s part and you have the recipe for tasty rawk and roll. Shove in a bunch of solid guest musicians all tied together by producer Lase Salgado and it actually tuns out to be a whole table of meaty tunes spiced up enough to even bite the ears a time or three.

Now I’m not really sure how this Italian-Argentinian connection came together in the first place but legend has it that a trip to a 2018 gig in New York City prompted vocalist Linda Filippin and guitarist Michael Reynal to come up with a name on the fly branding themselves The Straddlerz. Far be it for me to speculate why other than to say that in photos, the two definitely look the part if you will. In the video for kick off single “I’m Alive”, they definitely move the part, and especially Filippin, who pouts and prances in a way far more macho than the average female rock singer trying to awkwardly walk the line between substance and stripper. Yeah, she’s sexy but you feel like she owns it to the point that she’d rather avoid the hassle and just buy her own drinks and while that’s the visual, the audio on The Straddlerz‘s self-titled debut is just as confidently pushy.

From the first bits of “No Changes”, you kind of get a hint that something good and rocking is present but once Filippin‘s vocals fire in, all guesses are gone. In rock and roll, there are powerful female vocals but when it comes to The Straddlerz, we’re talking a 100 miles past the tonsils, over the gums, and across the jaw to leave a mark. A great combination of raw and raspy with an extra shove and while not a 100% clear, the dirty energy works perfectly with the loud guitars and kicking rhythm section of energetic tunes like second single “Streets of Love,” very early ’80s L.A. metal sounding “Open Your Eyes,” as well as the bar blistering “I’m Alive.” There’s virtually something in the mix for just about every fan of loose sleaze rock and metal, and even with the grittier, raw punky edge courtesy of the final double blast of “Without You,” and “Junkie Bastard” that wraps a pounding crunch of a track up with slightly distorted vocals for a cool angst-filled effect.

On “Addiction”, things do get a little weird depending on your tastes as The Straddlerz lend their own take to a sort of metal ballad that to traditional fans may come off as unhinged and awkwardly noisy. However, to anyone who digs raw emotion, it almost claws at the eyes in all the right ways. “Circle of Insanity” starts off even odder but quickly jumps in to face melting mode. Perhaps the most out there moment on the album is “Don’t Go Away,” an aggressive dark semi-ballad that walks an unusual line between early Alice Cooper and Aerosmith just with way more stabs of aggression. It’s a unique rock and roll blend of the expected and the unexpected, and it makes for a dirty aromatic breath of fresh rock and roll air.

It will be interesting to see how the world takes to The Straddlerz‘s first musical walk in the park. Anytime a rock and roll band takes a load of raw energy and tosses in pieces outside of the box, it tends to either turn the average rock fan off or as was the case with Guns N’ Roses back in the ’80s, turn out to be a much needed kick in the shins of the current musical climate. I’m sad to say that with good in your face rock and roll at the moment, looking up at the top of the music ladder in 2021 with all the safe sounds kidnapping the mainstream, chances are The Straddlerz‘s debut album won’t see much action outside of die hard rock and rollers and hidden gem treasure chest searchers. But as rock and roll history has shown, anything is possible if you put your head down and charge forward. Thank the rock gods that no matter what, for real fans of rock and roll, despite what Gene Simmons keeps saying about the genre being dead, the real soldiers refuse to just toss over and die and because of that, bands like The Straddlerz will always be around to keep our rock and roll addictions fed.

Track List:
01. No Changes
02. Streets of Love
03. Addiction
04. Circle of Insanity
05. Open Your Eyes
06. Don’t Go Away
07. I’m Alive
08. Without You
09. Junkie Bastard

Band Members:
Linda Filippin – vocals
Michael Reynal – guitars

Additional Musicians:
Robert Abrams – drums
Santiago Rensonnet – drums
Jimmy Falawine – drums
Gary Hewes – bass
Alex Zanel – bass
Luke Lazy – bass
Edward – bass
Pablo Schmidt – guitar

Produced and mixed by Lase Salgado 
Mastered by Steve Corrao

Band Websites:
Official Website

Reviewed by John Stoney Cannon for Sleaze Roxx, January 2021

The Straddlerz‘s “I’m Alive” video: