Album review: The Strokes, Comedown Machine (Rough Trade)


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The Independent Culture

Their fifth album finds The Strokes continuing the search, begun on 2011's Angles, for ways to tackle the future.

It's a tricky business, development often coming at the expense of core qualities: they're virtually unrecognisable as the band that made their game-changing debut, save perhaps for “All the Time”, where Julian Casablancas' vocal slouches against tightly riffing guitars. Elsewhere, things range from the predictable – the disco-funk-rock of “Welcome to Japan” – to the irritating in “Call It Fate, Call It Karma”, where Casablancas' falsetto croon over jazz guitar sounds like Thom Yorke at his smuggest. Weirdest of all is the oddly appealing “One Way Trigger”, whose jerky keyboard figure is unexpectedly reminiscent of A-Ha.

Download: All the Time; One Way Trigger; Welcome to Japan