Lo-fi NYC pioneers make like big league emo punks!
Yes, it’s the theme from The Munsters. Yes, it’s a sped-up ‘Hash Pipe’ by Weezer. Yes, it’s the theme from Mission: Impossible. And yes, it is The Strokes embracing the brave new world of professional recording techniques from beefing the guitars up past ‘wiry’ to actually turning the microphone on. Don’t feel so clever now, do you ‘Kid A’?
Drag The Strokes out of their cooler-than-thou lo-fi coal bunker and initially they sound… well, a bit like everyone else. That is to say, a bit like everyone that’s been ripping them off for the past four years, but with monstrously exaggerated studio budgets. Once you’re past the opening riff and have worked out that the bloke singing like an American Alan Rake having his tonsils removed with a blowtorch is actually what Julian Casablancas sounds like when amplified, the Strokesian meta-brilliance of ‘Juicebox’ burns stronger than a pile of Kate Moss modelling contracts. “WHY WON’TCHA COME OVAH HEEE-YAARRR!/WEEEE GOTTTA CITY TO LUUUUURVVEEE!” gargles El Casablancas to an unnamed “actress” while Albert Hammond Jnr butt-rapes his guitar through a solo that appears to have recently broken out of a padded cell.
Howly, scowly and punk-rock growly – the Yanks’ll love it. Which, um, may be something of The Point..