Album: The Strokes

Is This It, Rough Trade
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The Independent Culture
Hating The Strokes is the easy option. You needn't search far for excuses. Five eligible Manhattan bachelors, they're young (19-22), stylish, spoilt and rich.

Hating The Strokes is the easy option. You needn't search far for excuses. Five eligible Manhattan bachelors, they're young (19-22), stylish, spoilt and rich. And not since Menswear has a band been so talked-about having done so little. You only need one reason to love them, though. Is This It is a classic debut album: no overriding concept, just the first XI of the band's repertoire to date, their live set in a different order. The Strokes come equipped with no agenda, just the thrill of the moment, distilled adrenalin in audio form. Songs like "Hard To Explain" and "Barely Legal" may resemble VU's "White Light/White Heat" cranked up to 78rpm, but despite their NYC heritage, they often sound more like a stroppy little English mod band. "Last Nite", their finest moment, is insanely melodic power-pop (think The Jam's "Town Called Malice"). Everything about The Strokes is sharp, pared, "neat neat neat".

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