The Strokes – Comedown Machine
Almost exactly two years since their 2011 work Angles, the gritty New Yorkers make a comeback which is bound to divide fans down the middle: those who will be simply appalled at this earth shattering switch and those who will cherish the new attitude.
Two months ago the band released teaser track One Way Trigger on their website, triggering hugely varied responses and, honestly speaking, making us all question whether the greatest indie rockers of the 00s still had it. But after hearing the album a few times in its entirety it’s clear that Casablancas’ stained vocals are still there, and the unique riffs and underground tunes remain. The Strokes have changed, but they haven’t disappeared.
The album kicks off well with dreamy opener Tap Out. It leads us on to well-known territory with All The Time, which was premiered on February 14th on Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show and officially released on February 19th. The 80s influenced One Way Trigger follows suit, but it is with fourth track Welcome To Japan that the band really hits the spot. Here are The Strokes – no question – complete with infectious guitar riffs and powerful lyrics. When the four minutes and 50 seconds end you feel compelled to press the replay button over and over again, just to hang on to the sensation of relief that the band is still here, somewhere among the synths and 80s groove pop influences, The Strokes are still The Strokes. And from here on, everything goes smoothly. Standout tracks are 50/50 (scrappy and catchy), Slow Animals (where Casablancas’ falsetto is highlighted at its best with the surrounding guitars), and Chances, which is likely to be remembered as marking the best of the album.
They may have endured an identity crisis, hidden away from the rest of the world for the last couple of years, but if the result of the soul-searching process is this fifth release, where their sharp nature as indie-rock’s saviours is still present, we can only salute them with renewed joy.
Comedown Machine will be released on 25th March 2013, but you can pre-order the album here.
Watch the video for All The Time here: