Review: New Skin by CRX

New Skin by CRXThe Strokes‘ Nick Valensi has a new band – a side project, if you may – and it’s, well, interesting. CRX is as jittery as you’d expect from a (sort of) solo foray, especially after ten years of being the guitarist for one of the biggest indie bands in the world. I get the sense that there’s a reckoning with the power of now being leader of the band, with Nick handling guitars and vocals – and the excitement of trying things out, too, which leads to New Skin being a bit all over the place. And yet it all does not seem to matter. In ten tracks the record has an irresistible energy and verve. It just pops. Nick’s guitar is recognizable and yet it does not feel like a Strokes guitar tucked onto something else. The album may go all over the place, more or less, but it’s fun and moshy and delicious. It would be interesting to see where they go next – they definitely have some ways to go to refine that sound, but they can’t risk losing all this… thrill. [NB]3/5

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