After five years apart, The Strokes have returned. The New Yorkers’ careers have been marked by many of the pitfalls that hamstring so many of their ilk- drug problems, rehab, etc. It’s all part of being a rockstar, and somehow one feels that the art would suffer without the lifestyle to inform and inspire it.
Now that three of the five Strokes are married with kids, it wouldn’t be that surprising if their music began to reflect their new-found stability; a safer, edgeless, sound, more at home in Westchester than Downtown Manhattan. Thankfully, with each new leak from their upcoming album, Angles (set for a March 22 release), that possibility seems less and less likely.
Yesterday, The Strokes released two more tracks from Angles. “Machu Picchu” and “Taken For A Fool” are markedly different from the earlier leaks, giving us further insight into the New York group’s new sound.
At first, “Taken For A Fool” almost sounds like Gorillaz cover. The bass line and back beat screams “Feel Good, Inc,” until the chorus washes it all away in a garage-rock wave of distorted power chords and grungy vocals. The contrast between the different sections of the song is wonderful- the shoulder tightening tension of the verses building perfectly into the anguished release of the hook.
“Machu Picchu” has more of a ska feel- the jangly guitars, the driving beat, Julian Casablanca’s narcotic vocals. It’s reminiscent of The Clash, in the best way possible.
Both tracks are up-beat and danceable, but this is rainy day dance music, perfect for long, grey Thursdays when the sky opens up and seems like it won’t ever close. Get off the couch, plug in your speakers, and shake off some of those early spring blues.
via New York Pudding