Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On the Dial: The Strokes

The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth

I know this album came out three years ago, but The Strokes are working on a new album and I'm so excited that I just need to review something by them.

The Strokes are my favorite band and definitely one of the most original sounding music acts in a long time. Based out of New York City, this quintet was focused on attaining an indie-rock sound that was the norm for NYC in the 1970's.  They nailed it! Everytime I listen to a Strokes song I can almost feel the denim jacket on my back, smell the cigarette smoke in the air, and feel my feet sticking to the grimy beer-soaked barroom floor.

First Impressions of Earth is the third album from The Strokes and although it's not their best album it would be insane to call it, or ANY if their records for that matter, their worst.  The album kicks off with "You Only Live Once", one of my favorite tunes to play along with on my bass.  Later in the album, Albert Hammond Jr., the lead guitarist, shreds on "Heart In A Cage" delivering such a cool riff that it makes me want to drive a really fast car...well, really fast.

Speaking of awesome riffs, "Ize of the World" has the coolest of cool riffs throughout the choruses of the song. The other really interesting thing about that track is the way it ends so abruptly. For the longest time I assumed that the version I had (I burned a copy from a friend) was cut off and didn't have the complete song. It turns out that's the way it's supposed to end though! The last line of the song is "cities to vaporize" but it cuts off before Julian, the lead singer, finishes the word "vaporize" because like the song, the world was vaporized.  Genius!

If you only have time to catch a few highlights from this album, you can't go wrong with the three songs I mentioned, or just put the CD in and hit shuffle.  They're all good.

Now that I've written this review I want to listen to some Strokes and drive to a grimy dive bar and see some really good rock music. Until then I will have to be content with playing my bass along to the songs on my record player and pretending to be on stage with the band!

Sounds Like:
  Julian Casablancas
  The Libertines
  Franz Ferdinand
  The Hives

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