Why are Public Access TV compared to the Strokes in EVERY ARTICLE written? Perhaps it’s just lazy journalism on the part of music critics because the differences between the two bands are fairly stark. All of the Strokes have had a well-heeled Manhattan upbringing; the members all met each other at the Dwight School, Lycée Français de New York, and Le Rosey in Switzerland. The success of the Strokes may or may not directly correlate with their pedigrees, but you cannot deny that it’s a factor.
Embarrassingly enough, I had no idea who the Strokes really were when I first heard of them. An older friend of mine told me I needed to go to Maxwell’s in Hoboken with her to check out this awesome new band. This was back in May 2001, before Is This It was released. Back in those days, I was already a fan of the Swedish rock bands like the Hives and International Noise Conspiracy and just getting into the new type of Modern Lovers-style rock-and-roll.
“Juicebox” by the Strokes | I’m not a cool guy. I was never in time to the Strokes; I don’t have the fervent affection many of my peers have. I get why they’re good, though. I get that their first two albums were masterpieces. It’s a bit sucky, in my pretentious-in-denial mind, that my first legitimate exposure to the New York band was on their third record, First Impressions of Earth, the album where they started feeling a little… weak, I guess, and the whole diminishing returns thing was felt. I revisit “Juicebox” now – this song being a constant accompaniment on my first months as a member of the labor force – as the Strokes release Future Present Past, an EP of three new tracks (and one remix). Specifically, I revisit this song because I got to talk about the new album over on Bandwagon yesterday. (Yes, ma, I made it. I think.) In summary: three good starts, three meh finishes, and a remix that I surprisingly like. Apparently I’m the only one… [NB]
Once upon a time, the Strokes were in a rut and we did not know whether they’ll regain their spark again. 2011’s Angles brought back some excitement, but not much; this year’s Comedown Machine has, unfortunately, the same effect. But I’m not mourning the fact that the New York band sound a bit like they’re running through the motions. It seems they know their time has long passed, and they’re not arsed, and they’d just want to jam. It’s a bit hit and miss, but “Tap Out” starts the album off in a surprisingly groovy note, while “Happy Ending” rounds off the album on the same note – but not after a chilled “Call It Fate, Call It Karma”. Julian Casablancas and gang may not be brewing a revolution again, but for some reason Comedown Machine is a compelling listen. Just don’t expect some more fireworks. | 4/5
“All The Time” by the Strokes | If “One Way Trigger” sounded a little too weird, then perhaps the fact that it’s not the official first single to the Strokes’ latest album will soothe you? In fact it’s this one: “All This Time”, off Comedown Machine, should hit stores next Tuesday. That falsetto on “One Way Trigger” gives way to Julian Casablancas’ laid back drawl that you’ve heard in most of their other records. Perhaps a bit too scuzzy for my liking – it’s detracting from the musicality of their previous, better-known work – but this isn’t bad, it’s not bad at all. Maybe surprisingly low-key, but I dare say it’s much better than that other song, which I did grow to appreciate eventually. But we’ll see how this stacks up when the album goes out next month.