The Strokes - Comedown Machine

By Clare McCabe

Released March 22nd, 2013 - Sony Music

To be honest, the first listen of a new album from one of your favorite artists is often disappointing. You don't know the songs yet and you are unsure of if you like it or not. And anyone who knows me well will knowThe Strokes are on my Top 5 Bands list.

That's why I recommend you listen to The Strokes' new offering on high rotate at first -just to remember why they continue to be on your list (or deserve to be added).

Comedown Machine was recorded at NYC's famous Electric Lady Studios (you know, the one that Jimi Hendrix himself opened in the 70s), where many classic acts have recorded their music over the decades including Bowie and The Clash. And unlike their previous album, the band actually recorded this one all together in the studio.

Let's just say the boys are back and as on form as ever (in my opinion). There is a huge 80s influence here andJulian's voice is showcased with a wide range of singing styles - lots of whining and falsetto-reaching new heights especially in One Way Trigger.

It's all here - that voice, the heavy drums from Fab, the tight guitars from Nick and Nikolai and Albertcompleting the band on bass. There is a bit less of the melancholy (a la Julian Casablancas' solo effort) - some songs even sound positively upbeat.

Favourite tracks (for now): 80's Comedown Machine with that interesting Ultravox-esque beginning and50/50 which is a little heavier with clashing vocals/guitars - this tune should be great when we get to see it played live. "I will say, don't judge me" sings Julian on 50/50 - nicely said.

This is catchy stuff people - well worth a listen. Can't wait for the tour - please boys, would you mind coming down to NZ this time - it's been too long.

5 / 5