The Strokes – Angles

After five long years, the princes of indie have released their fourth studio album, Angles. Apparently a “much needed break” did the boys of The Strokes well. They started out strong with 2001’s Is This It, waned a little with First Impressions of Earth and Room on Fire, but they’re bringin’ it back. Hardcore.

These long band hiatuses (hiatii?) seem to go one of three ways: A) The band never reforms (Smashing Pumpkins, Guns and Roses), B) they reform and it’s tragic (Nine Inch Nails, Stone Temple Pilots), or C) they reform and it’s awesome! This definitely falls into the latter category.

The album definitely starts off on the right foot with a space-aged, yet 70’s glam rock inspired tune, “Machu Pichhu”. Mix Duran Duran and the better songs of the Police with David Bowie and The Who a la the trippy Tommy days, and this is what you get. The New Yorkers manage to rock right the fuck out without being overproduced or pretentious.

“Under the Cover of Darkness”, their first single from the album is a poppy, upbeat track that makes toe tapping inevitable…it’s just that catchy. This album really does bring me back to the Is This It days. Not since 2001 have I heard them simply play so well together. They genuinely sound like they’re enjoying themselves, and that makes me enjoy myself more. What could have been a potentially disastrous clash of ideas becomes an eclectic, yet cohesive, album.

I’m also diggin’ the neo-funk “Taken For A Fool” and the bouncy “Gratisfation”. Really, there’s not a terrible song on this album, some just stand out more than others. It’s good to see them back together and recognizing their strengths. Why get back together just to make shitty music? They get back to the roots and all the good stuff that made them irresistible, radio-friendly wonders: unbeatable hooks, catchy choruses, retro guitars, Julian Casablanca’s sexy vocals, and simple rhythms.

This album is good stuff all around. Definitely not a waste of your time, money, hard drive space, or bandwith. In fact, you can listen to the whole album over on their Myspace. It even gets a good solid A from That Girl With A Blog. You can check out all the latest news over on their site or Facebook. Give The Strokes another chance!

“Under the Cover of Darkness”

“Machu Picchu”


4 thoughts on “The Strokes – Angles

  1. Totally valid argument. The sound of NIN has become quite a bit more specific over time, especially since Trent got himself clean and started living a more responsible lifestyle. I still like just about anything he’s involved with and I don’t think he’ll ever lose his studio chops as that attention to detail is a lot of what makes him so great, but I know where you’re coming from. There is an insane amount of growth from PHM to Broken to TDS, and while The Fragile has some evolution it’s definitely nowhere near as large a movement. Reminds me of the one criticism I used to hear about The Slip, that it sounded like a greatest hits made entirely from new works, and that’s also a valid description although I still enjoyed the album.

  2. I haven’t listened to this yet so I’ll be checking it out soon, but what do you mean NIN getting back on track was tragic? I know you didn’t like the Social Network soundtrack but I don’t even consider that a NIN record. You didn’t like The Slip? Year Zero? Just wondering, because I honestly feel like NIN are still consistently good and I’m really looking forward to the proper How To Destroy Angels album.

    1. Man, I got way too into NIN at the completely wrong time. Probably right around ’96 or so, during that 5 year hiatus. I remember being so, so excited for The Fragile, and being so terribly disappointed. It certainly wasn’t the NIN that I knew and loved. I understand that Reznor wanted to grow and change as an artist, and I get that, I’m just not into what he became. I want early 90’s Trent Reznor, screaming, breaking shit, and covered in flour, haha. I have given the subsequent albums the good college try, but I just can’t bring myself to like them. Also, pre-hiatus, each album had it’s own distinct flavor, which I think has been lost, post-hiatus. And besides Reznor himself, I miss the old boys. Robin Finck, Danny Lohner, Cris Vrenna, Richard Patrick, Charlie Clouser…the people who gave NIN the reputation that they have today. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that people like Ilan Rubin and Alessandro Cortini and Josh Freese (especially Freese, I’m a pretty big Vandals fan) aren’t incredibly talented, they’re just not what I think of when I think of NIN. And I mean, NIN is essentially a one man band, but that doesn’t translate into live shows.

      Oh man, I could go on about this for days…haha. Essentially, I miss the NIN of yore and that prevents me from fully enjoying the new sound.

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