About as ’80s as a perm, a singular glove and Molly Ringwald, The Strokes are back, and we don’t mean Back To The Future. The hardcore fans, and even the modern day fans, have the New Yorkers on the ropes after their dismal attempt with ‘Angles’. Julian Casablancas and his ultra-hip mates have done a Rocky.
The intro to opener ‘Tap Out’ is a quick, reversed rendition of a calm-before-thestorm. Beginning with what sounds like a chalkboard scratch, it slips into a groovy riff and then springs a questionable debate topic concerning the lack of Julian’s cigarette vocal punch. While the absence of the frontman’s sexy growls is a unanimous “meh” from the “smart” indie kids, the recently revealed ‘All The Time’ is the closest The Strokes have been to ‘Is This It?’ in years. It is also a way for them to let the hipsters know: ‘Okay, this is what you wanted. Now, scatter while we explore new territory.’ Everything’s a time machine trip from here on out.
Anybody in a coma since 2009 would think ‘Comedown Machine’ was the second solo record from Julian Casablancas, the similarities are both offensive and brilliant. You can yay-or-nay about this most intensely on ‘Chances’ and ‘Happy Endings’. As far as the closer is concerned, the bewilderment is rather overwhelming. Whether you're in an ‘Is This It?’ vortex or not, this is The Strokes and they’ve returned with their most thoughtprovoking, strange and sexiest record yet.
Words by KIERAN MAYALL