Strokes : Hard To Explain

So, what do you say about the band who have everything?

So, what do you say about the band who have everything? Five beautiful, talented boys with the world at their feet, living The Life in a city that pushes rock’n’roll glamour to every extreme: really, it could all get too much…

And thank God, it does. This second single from The Strokes is almost ludicrously great,

a record that generates genuine scalp-crackling excitement, a comet-rare synthesis of form, content, attitude and hair that makes the perfect blackout silence in the middle of ‘Hard To Explain’ say just as much Julian Casablancas’ immaculately drawled [I]”I watch the TV/Forget what I’m told/But I am too young and they are too old”[/I].

On paper – band suck down their city’s history to ultra-cool effect – it looks straightforward but there’s something about the way the guitars fight to unhinge themselves from the staring, fixated beat or Casablancas’ mix of blank ennui and sudden spite, that cranks this up a good ten emotional notches beyond ‘ultra-cool’. And then there’s the untrammelled backstreet slam of

‘New York City Cops’ ([I]”They ain’t too smart”[/I]), skulking around the line [I]”Even though it was only one night it was fucking strange”[/I], which you can only guess is the story of their lives. Too much? They keep on like this and even too much won’t be enough.Victoria Segal