STRAPPS – Self Titled – (Harvest) – 1976

 what Frank is listening to #24 – STRAPPS – Self Titled – (Harvest) – 1976

The art work on the front and back seemed to suggest this was hard rock. The band pic on the back indicated they were English … I may be stereotyping by race but what is it with the English and long hair in the 70s and 60s? They always look like thugs or skins who have decided to make a big fashion concession. Maybe England didn't have any hair "product" in the 70s or any hair stylists working for any of the record labels?
I wasn't expecting much, and though the album isn't great, I was surprised … (mildly) pleasantly.  Allmusic defines them as a late glam band with a bit of Deep Purple (the drummer had played with Glover and Gillan from Deep Purple in the 60s – Glover co-produced this album) and a bit of Mott the Hoople thrown in. Here I would not disagree … there is a bit of Deep Purple in the "thumping" rock but there is much more "Mott the Hoople" and "glam rock" in here. The lead singer even sounds like Ian Hunter (from Mott) at times ... and also (oddly) a bit like Mark Knopfler on some tracks. There are also overt echoes of The Sweet, Alex Harvey, Mick Ronson, David Essex, The Sparks, and even Bowie on his straighter rock stuff. There, oddly, is also quite a bit of keyboard up front. As it turns out I like Deep Purple (who doesn't have a copy of "Machine Head"?), some Mott the Hoople and all the other acts I just mentioned (in bits and pieces), hence the "surprised … (mildly) pleasantly".
The trouble though is, it's all fairly derivative.
For a first album, given the era , it could be a lot worse. The band were known in England and had a cult following in Japan but otherwise nosedived. I assume mainly because this is stuff that should have been come out in 1972 … 1976 was not a year for this type of music……punk (probably intentionally) killed them.
The band lasted for about 2 years and put out 3 LPs in that time …. before drummer Underwood went off to join the Ian Gillan Band … apparently the lead singer/guitarist, Ross Stagg, is Australian (he now works at a TAFE in NSW).
The lyrics are well dodgy with refernces to S&M, "faggots" etc and were probably meant to shock. It's all very un-PC … and if you didn't look at the credits it still wouldn't take much to figure out all the lyrics were written by the Australian in the band … which may be worry …
from the net:
Ross Stagg, the lead singer and guitarist of Strapps, has a message (from November 2000) to share with all of the Strapps fans from yesterday and today…
"Unlike a lot of what you hear from certain bands these days I can honestly say that we meant every word we sang and every note that we sung and played – if you like this music – I am totally delighted because it was and is real – thank you for continuing to share what really meant and continues to mean so much to us".
Best tracks:
"School Girl Funk" – sexist – no way – lol … nothing like a good songwriter.
"Rock Critic" – more "great" lyrics – a hoot of a put down on rock critics.
"In Your Ear" – the most "tuneful" song – and the single.
"Suicide" – a seven minute epic ballad on the title subject … it's great … why …cause its so bombastic …it makes Meatloaf look low fi.
The album didn't chart anywhere…
I think I'll burn some tracks and flog it off …..
see attached – School Girl Funk, Rock Critic
on the web:
lyrics to "School Girl Funk" – so you can sing along (or those more musical of you may want to cover the song)

I've got my black 'J' Holden Roadster waitin' in the car park
Got a dozen bottles 'o booze and a rug in the trunk
Got my wallet stuffed with money
an' some brand new prophylactics
As I stalk this dirty dance hall for a bit of School Girl Funk

There's a pack of ugly bastards standing in the corner
They're goin' thru the jive they're gonna give to the girls
But I been eatin' knuckle sandwich
and it ain't the taste I'm after
Wanna get my laughin' gear 'round some cutie's little pearl

There goes young Eliz'beth, now she's got her act together
She never hangs around with the faggots at the bar
She stumbles 'round dreamin' 'bout the latest gangster movies Doin' tricks for fat policemen if they let her hold their guns


Sweatin' Little Virgins, Urgin', Urgin' Let me be your Surgeon,
Urgin', Urgin' On! Sweatin' Little Virgins, Urgin', Urgin' Let me be your Surgeon, Urgin', Urgin'

I ain't got no time for sweet-talk an' I'm randy as a hornet
Ain't got no time for bluffers or the kind that make you crawl
Got a flick-knife and a bike-chain and my trusty huntin' rifle
I don't need no pretty face to make the lovely ladies ball

I've got my black 'J' Holden Roadster waitin' in the car park
Got a dozen bottles 'o booze and a rug in the trunk
Got my wallet stuffed with money an' some brand new prophylactics


Lyrics to "Rock Critic"

Dreaming in classrooms and humming a tune
He was a bright boy
with words but he hummed out of tune
– Oh! No.

Resentful an' mean they never asked him to jam
They cried "Oh not again, he's such a thick ham"
– Oh! No

He liked the Beatles an' he liked the Stones
And he could write lyrics but we called them poems
He hated our guts when we packed him off home

I'm gonna make it as a Rock Critic
Gonna write in the papers
Gonna make you sick

Gonna tell all the kiddies that I think you suck!
An' you'll come crawling to me

I'm gonna make it as a Rock Critic
Gonna sling me some mud
Gonna make it stick

Gonna make you suffer for the things that the good Lord never gave me!

Discerning and able to tell you his views
He was succinct and distinct and a bore to his boots
– Oh! No

The young ladies mocked him and oh! what a joke
It seems they laughed up their sleeves
As they snorted his coke
– Oh! No

He followed fashion and he followed taste
and he practised daily, but it was a waste
He covered his satchel with pop stars and paste.


A hit on the Dance floor a smash with the trash
His mother dressed him in style,
his daddie choked him with cash
– Oh! No

To be with the hip boys was his only wish
and you could see how it hurt when they gave him a miss
– Oh! No

He was a tough guy, yet, he was a squirt
In love with the D.J. he wore on his shirt
His singular talent was dishin' the dirt


(originally posted 07/05/2009)

About Franko

Hi, I'm just a person with a love of music, a lot of records and some spare time. My opinions are comments not reviews and are mine so don't be offended if I have slighted your favourite artist. I have listened to a lot of music and I don't pretend to be impartial. You can contact me on though I would rather you left a comment. I also sell music at Cheers
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