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Rockin' Our Turntable: The Strokes

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 16, 2011 3:20PM

2011_03_Strokes_Angles.jpg The Strokes may have kept waiting everyone forever for their latest album Angles, but at least they delivered a disc that sounds exactly like what you'd expect from The Strokes. And what more could you ask for? In fact, the quartet from NYC would probably piss folks off if they deviated too far from their sound. Hell, they moved a smidge off target by attempting to open their sound on First Impressions of Earth and got eviscerated, which actually, the more we think about it makes no sense since they also caught flak for their sophomore album since it didn't change at all. For once we're beginning to realize that eternally bored look deadening the center of Julian Casablancas' eye may be more defense mechanism than affectation at this point.

On Angles the guitar lines are still all bone dry and constructed of shards of punk disco balls.The drums are still impossibly metronomic and beset by a sneaky funk swing made apparent when you discover you're maniacally tapping along to them. And the vocals still sound as if they're being pushed through a practice amp at the back of the room. And when the band hits -- as they do with insouciant swagger and undeniable power on tracks like "Under Cover Of Darkness," "Machu Picchu" and the party swaggerin' "Gratisfaction" -- it's obvious why people have been clamoring for their return.

But the album's fractured by missteps like the wandering turgidity of "Call Me Back" and the odd '80s movie prom meets U2 pastiche of "Two Kinds Of Happiness." Both tunes exhibit a band that still has notions of breaking beyond audience expectations but is still unable to do so, probably because of their inability to form a united front -- the album is quite possibly fractured due to actual fissions between band members during the time spent recording it - and move forward with confidence. Luckily for us The Strokes decided to keep things short and mostly to the point by limiting the album's ten songs to a running time of under 35 minutes, so these weak spots are more blipvert than train derailment.

In the end The Strokes may catch criticism for their refusal to deliver anything particularly groundbreaking given the band's extended hiatus, but we think the band is actually giving the people exactly what they deserve.

STREAM: The Strokes - Angles