I often find that the most frustrating thing as a music fan is waiting for my favourite artists to produce and release new material. Imagine my shock and dismay back in 2006 when The Strokes announced they were ‘taking a break’ from the band for a while. Sadness, desperation and depression all swept over me…ok maybe not depression but I certainly wasn’t pleased. No need to fret though fellow fans, The Strokes are back and you better believe they mean business.
Five years on since the release of First Impressions of the Earth The Strokes latest effort Angles sees a much welcomed return by the New York quintet. Cleverly, the band streamed the album on their website a week before its release, whetting the audience’s appetite and reminding them of just what The Strokes are all about.
This latest album is chock full of a gusto and charm which has you tapping your feet to the beat track one through ten. Angles sucker punches you right into a happy mood with the classic ‘Strokes sound’ whilst still managing to appear fresh and new. Opening tracks Machu Picchu, Under Cover of Darkness and Two Kinds of Happiness instantly set the tone and will be big winners with the festival crowds this summer.
Gratisfaction seeps with 70s influence – early Bowie mixed with all the glamour and sass of the septuagenarian decade on many a song – you cannot fail to feel anything but lifted spirits by this gung ho attack of a track. Towards the end of the album the tempo tends to slowly ebb, not necessarily in a negative way but we – the listener – are brought on a steady comedown from the previous high velocity and big sounds experienced earlier on in the album. One of the defining features of any Strokes album – and still ever present on this latest offering – is their ability to downplay Casablancas distinctive drawl often letting the instrumentation stand forwards with the vocals supporting the song, not the other way round.
Rather impressively this album retains all of the elements that made us fall in love with The Strokes whilst managing to remain current and on trend even after their five year hiatus. Essentially, in true Strokes fashion this album is just plain cool.