Julian Casablancas + the Voidz - Tyranny

By Clare McCabe

Released Friday September 26th, 2014 - Cult Records

Before I begin, just a gentle reminder that this is NOT a Strokes album.

Julian Casablancas is back with some new chums and a completely different style. . Loved his first solo album Phrazes of the Young - very melancholy and melodic. Oh and keyboard-heavy which I am always a bit partial to.  Shift it up a notch and have a listen.

First tune from the album - Where No Eagles Fly - hits you with a great big wall of sound. A bit punky. A bit heavy. And very good. That great base line (a la Stranglers), 80s keyboards, a bit of distortion and Julian's yowling. Intense. I think we're going to like this album.

Xerox sounds almost like a recital of a nursery rhyme (only with a dark side) with heavy backing track.

Take Me In Your Army heads off on all sorts of tangents with very high-pitched vocals. Johan Von Bronx is a bit more grungy and melancholy. Crunch Punch brings out a new-wave tinge with Julian screaming amidst all the chaos "Don't miss the show, ok"?

Human Sadness is keyboards (or is that an organ) coming through thick and fast with some great, distorted lyrics wailing away over the top. Ah Julian, you have changed.

Father Electricity starts all gloomy and then springs into some jarring keyboards from Jeff and we're off. Turn this one up on your headphones and prepare to be blown away.

Take note. These songs are not sing-along numbers. They are layered, messy, raw tunes where sometimes you can't even understand what Julian is singing. I didn't think I would like it, but I do. Certainly sounds like the vocals have been turned down at some stages of the album to make sure you don't miss all the different instruments/effects from the other band members. And why not? Can just imagine how great this album will be to tour live to truly embrace and understand it.

To be sure, Tyranny will take a few listens to really get into it. But put the time in, you will not be disappointed. Definitely be prepared for something very different to what you are used to with JC. And be prepared to turn the volume up. Oh and check out the video for Where No Eagles Fly to see Julian and his new band in all their glory.

4.5 / 5