Album Review: The Strokes – “Angles”

It took five years for five guys to get back to making record with each other. Today The Strokes release the long awaited Angles (BMG) and celebration is in order. It’s funny to hear how much The Strokes have evolved since their early records. They sound so different but appear to be the same all at once. Somehow a band that seems as distant as ever with each other has made their most cohesive record to date. Every Stroke brings a little bit of himself onto Angles and it works well. Really well.

Starting off with the infectious “Machu Picchu,” which has a taste of 80’s vibe in it, kicks off the record with a bang. It starts a little mellow in the beginning and then when you least expect it, Julian Casablancas’ voice punches you in the face along with the driving guitars. The hook in this song is brilliant. We’re in love already. The first single “Under Cover of Darkness,” gets better with every listen as Casablancas’ vocals howl throughout the song. The rest of the band goes along with it as all of the elements come together without flaw. One amazing thing about this record is that it delivers song after song with catchy hooks and melodic vocals. It stands out from the very beginning.

To continue with the 80’s feeling, “Two Kinds of Happiness,” is Cars-esque without a doubt. The Strokes never become copycats though and remain true to themselves in every inch of the record. “You’re So Right,” and “Taken For A Fool,” bring a tad bit of retro punk element into Angles (BMG) but at the same time, carry a bit of old school Strokes into the mix. That’s the great thing about the band. You never know where a song is going to go. That’s a good thing. “Games,” will make you want to get up and start dancing around the room. Albert Hammond Jr.’s and Nick Valensi’s guitars intertwine throughout this song in particular, with a hint of synths behind them filling the space in between. This is something a little different for The Strokes.

“Call Me Back,” slows down the record a bit with Casablancas and a slow picked guitar for the most part. This track is haunting and brings a nice low key tone to the album, something The Strokes have tried on First Impressions of Earth (BMG) with “Ask Me Anything.”

“Gratisfaction,” is dead on Is This It, (BMG) which sounds like it could have been a leftover track. We know it’s not, but it may fool you. With a hint of retro and a tad of T-Rex sound, this song will surely win over your heart fast. The rhythm section of Fab Moretti and Nikokai Fraiture blend nicely together keeping the back bone of the song under Valensi’s blissful guitar riffs. “Metabolism,” is the darkest song on the record that picks up in intensity. It reminds us a bit of an old video game, which is a compliment. The guitar solos swallow the song whole, as the album heads towards the end. Closing the album is “Life is Simple in the Moonlight,” which is a perfect final track. Casablancas knows how to not only write a vocal melody but sing it to perfection. Be prepared to have this song on repeat.

It took us five years to get Angles, (BMG), and it was worth every minute of the wait. Can we say “Album of the Year”?

The Strokes Take Over Saturday Night Live

The Strokes took over Saturday Night Live this weekend! The band performed two songs, the first single from Angles, “Undercover of Darkness,” and a new unheard track from the upcoming LP titled “Life is Simple in the Moonlight.” If these two tracks are a taste of the what the full record has to offer, this makes us even more excited. If thats possible. Watch the videos below!

Florence + The Machine To Hit Saturday Night Live

So far, 2010 has been kind for Florence + The Machine. Not only were they picked to contribute to the new Twilight soundtrack, they will be the musical guests for Saturday Night Live near the end of November.

Joining host Ann Hathaway, Florence + The Machine will be live from New York on November 20th. I’m guessing the new song from the Twilight soundtrack will be on the playlist. In case you haven’t heard it, here is the music video for Florence + The Machine’s “Heavy In Your Arms” from Twilight: Eclipse.

Arcade Fire to Perform on Saturday Night Live Again!

The Arcade Fire has just released the information that they will be appearing on the infamous Saturday Night Live on Saturday, November 13th. Set your old school VCRs so you don’t miss it. Scarlett Johansson will be the host that night. SNL has been lacking on the ‘great’ musical guests this season (in our opinion), but the show has finally redeemed itself. What songs will the band play? Well that’s up in the air for now but here’s crossing our fingers for “Ready to Start.”

Phoenix Does 3 Songs on SNL

Saturday Night Live is getting kind of boring, isn’t it? This season is almost unwatchable with the exception of some great musical guests stopping by. Case in point, French rockers Phoenix graced the stage last Saturday night. It seems the current ‘thing’ on SNL is that when there is a lack of good sketches, the band gets to perform three songs that night. Nice. Phoenix charmed the audience with ‘Lisztomania’, ‘1901’ and ‘Too Young’. The band was really the only reason to watch.

Phoenix will release Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix in the US on May 25th.

View the three performances from the night below.



Fleet Foxes on SNL, January 17th

To our surprise over the weekend,  Sub Pop announced that Seattle’s own Fleet Foxes will be appearing on the Saturday, January 17th episode of Saturday Night Live.

This is surely some very exciting news. Fleet Foxes are definatly making waves with their self titled debut and for them to be on SNL is a big step in their career. The band will be performing ‘Mykonos’ and ‘Blue Ridge Mountains’, two stellar tracks.  I can’t wait to see the band perform. I think it will bring in a lot of new listeners, not like they need them.

Check out the newest Fleet Foxes video ‘He Doesn’t Know Why’