Rhythm & Views 

The Strokes

The Strokes' third album has that Strokes sound: 30 percent Julian Casablancas' croon/rock wail, and 70 percent Albert Hammond Jr. and Nick Valensi's crisply distorted guitars. When a band has such a distinct sound, they can start to sound repetitive, but the question is: Is it really such a bad thing to sound like yourself?

Fortunately for The Strokes, it's not a bad thing at all; repetition is, after all, an effective tool in the art of persuasion. The hooks are so sharp they could hang meat, and lyrical one-liners give the songs their snarky New York City edge. In "Razorblade," the guitar moves into cheery chords as Casablancas sings, "My feelings are more important than yours." "Ask Me Anything" is played entirely on a synthesizer on the strings setting, and suggests that some things are so far beyond repair that no amount of lyrical artistry will fix them: "We could drag it out but that's for other bands to do," sings Casablancas, "I've got nothing to say." The irony is that Casablancas does have plenty to say about how everyone at the party doesn't have much to say, either--"I guess everybody's week must have been pretty rough, 'cause everybody's drunk, loud and pissed off," sings Casablancas on "Fear of Sleep," as the guitar follows the vocal melody in standard Strokes fashion.

By repeatedly pointing out that there is "an entire generation that has nothing to say" ("Red Light"), Casablancas is actually saying something important here. Because of The Strokes' signature musical backdrop, First Impressions of Earth is persuasively repetitive--by the end, the point has been made, and it sticks in your head.

More by Annie Holub


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Facebook Recommendations

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Various Artists, Dune Drift III (Topaz)
    • Dec 4, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Love is the Only Truth

    Rapper, poet Ezra Letra gets to the heart of his work, words and hip-hop
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • Music Counts

    Friends of Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl celebrate their music with a benefit for the Lupus Foundation
    • Dec 4, 2014
  • More »

Facebook Activity

Tucson Weekly on Facebook

© 2014 Tucson Weekly | 3725 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation