We're buzzed about #1... "One Way Trigger" - The Strokes
"Is This It?!" Fans React to Radical New Strokes Song
March 2011. Whilst the Vaccines' debut effort What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? was drawing comparisons to The Strokes, with both outfits boasting a talent for an infectious chorus laced with "jangly" guitars, the music world was anticipating the release of the latter's fourth album - Angles. Although the release of The Vaccines' debut effort was initially prepared to coincide with Angles', its release date was brought forward a week, leading to speculation along the lines of their decision being to prevent the Vaccines' debut album from being eclipsed by one of the biggest bands in the world. Probably a wise decision. (Their paths would later cross in August 2011, through The Strokes' Albert Hammond Jr producing the British rockers' "Tiger Blood" single at his New York studio.)
Angles was well received, gaining favourable reviews from many of the influential music publications which had shaped the band's success in the first place. NME gave it a sound 7/10, noting that it "lives up to its name by coming at you from some very obtuse angles" and Metacritic rounded all the scores up to give Angles a 71% rating. Lead single Under Cover of Darkness was devoured by alternative radio stations and peaked at a relatively impressive #3 on the UK album charts. Bassist Nicolai Fraiture had described the album to be a "return to basics" and reminiscent of their iconic album, Is This It.
Surprisingly, an interview of the band conducted in mid-March 2011 by Shortlist Magazine revealed that they had already begun work on their fifth album, and frontman Julian Casablancas stated that he was "eager to work on new material." Much was quiet until April 2012, when Fraiture tweeted that the band were "working on some new ideas" and it was revealed that the album would be recorded in the same manner as Angles - each band member would 'bring' ideas into the studio and the songs would be a combination their ideas.
Frustratingly, for fans, the fifth album once again went Under Cover of Darkness, if you will. Until...
January 17, 2013. Seattle Station 107.7 The End leaks that the lead single of the album will be titled "All The Time" and will be injected into their playlist in their near future.
Yesterday. Finally, the first song from the fifth album, "One Way Trigger", was unveiled to fans, ravenous for new material. You can listen to it below. And boy, when you do, you may have a slight shock. At first, the drum beat appears to be pretty tepid, and that combined with Casablanca's falsetto vocals (where on Earth did that come from?!) and the dominant yet rather unsubstantial synth left me feeling Is This It?! Unfortunately, for the Strokes' publicity, the song is a grower. And therefore after one or two listens many irate fans and bewildered publications had already written-off its "saccharine synths" (MTV) and one fan on NME described the song as "What Keane would sound like if they made songs for the old NES."
Yet, after a few listens, the song is in fact quite catchy - the jangling guitar solo in the middle of the song and the hooky chord changes become more prominent, and although in many ways it is different from some of the more traditional guitar-fuelled Strokes' tunes, it is pretty good, and will probably continue to grow on me. That, combined with the fact that its not the lead single gives us hope for the upcoming release to be a stroke of genius.
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