The Strokes|Comedown Machine
26 March 2013
After the five year split between First Impressions of Earth and Angles, it was an exciting blessing to have Comedown Machine in reach a short two years later. The first feeling of this record is that it’s classically The Strokes; classically Julian Casablancas.
The most enjoyable aspect of The Strokes is their constant summertime vibe. Though based in the Big Apple, listening to The Strokes gives the feel of cruising down Santa Monica Blvd in warm afternoon illumination. It could be lead, Julian’s, upbeat and unmistakable vocals that hold that nostalgia back to 2001’s summertime chart topper Is This It. It could be the addictive composition of catchy drum beats and the sorts of sounds that stir emotional adventure. Either way, Comedown Machine explores this feel with its sound, even here in early spring, as the sun has yet to recognize itself in many parts of the globe.
The album opens with the dancy “Tap Out,” one of The Strokes more electronic sounding from the years, exerts the story of a city underwater, possibly reflecting this past year’s Hurricane Sandy. “One Way Trigger” at first almost throws a curve-ball at Strokes’ expectations until the chorus thrusts in with few deep seducing vocals, back into and through an addictive shriek of beauty. On “80’s Comedown Machine” sounds open backed by an appropriate 80’s-like drum beat. Before John Hughes closing credits scenes float into view, Julian’s expansive vocal range shows off again with some of the most soothing to be heard. A simple, yet beautiful track.
Transitioning into “50/50,” listeners find their minds and bodies warped right back to 2001. Fast-paced, post-punk style dominates which carries through to “Partners in Crime” but welcoming in a bit of a swing vibe. The album ends with “Call It Fate Call It Karma” which sounds like something possibly heard on grandma’s old transistor radio as a child waiting on apple pie in the kitchen, but here, grandma is the coolest gal around. While not ending with a crash, this track provides almost that soft bonus track type feel which leaves listeners asking “wait, is it over?” A devious tactic? Maybe. Regardless, Comedown Machine alerts listeners everywhere that The Strokes are already an old classic sticking around to charm pants off for the foreseeable future.