So up next on our retro rock wave we have The Strokes. 15 years ago, they released their seminal album “Is this it” and the world was introduced to Julian Casablancas and his mysterious voice. Hidden behind a vocal effect that disrupts his output and gives this band that retro 1970 garage rock flair, The Strokes are a complete band. Their guitars are well tuned and their drums are always on point. Probably the most successful of these retro The bands, The Strokes perfected a rock and roll formula in “Is this it” and gathered critical acclaim for producing a complete album of solid songs that maintain their grandiosity from cover to cover. I debated covering this album for the blog because I think the band has gone on to produce better albums, but ultimately this was their first and it deserves the spotlight.
Most of their singles received heavy airplay so I’ll try and highlight some of their lesser known gems. “Soma” for example has a kicking drum line that backs the entirety of the song while Casablancas wholly disinterested but rock and roll vocal builds up a sense of gravitas that gives the track some serious staying power.
“Alone together” opens with a hook and revisits it throughout the song but the song has some serious ear worm potential. The song has a unique take on the verse chorus standard trite trope and is all in all just really pleasant.
“New York City Chops” is a wonderful song with some amazing guitar work. apparently the song’s title was changed due to the attacks of September 11th, but the song is a ridiculously cool ode to the city that never sleeps.
Finally I thought I would highlight “take it or leave it” which has that signature The Strokes sound only twisted just enough that it sounds completely original and fun. The back and forth guitar line is reminiscent of “last night” or “someday” two other great tracks but the vocal is an exasperated Take it or leave it, which deconstructed as far as lyrics go, is just plain perfect. Ultimately this is a great album start to finish, check it out and enjoy a great bands impressive first effort.