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The Strokes

"Under Cover of Darkness"

[RCA / Rough Trade; 2011]

By ; February 14, 2011 

Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG

The Strokes have been absent since 2006, but “Under Cover of Darkness,” the lead single from the band’s upcoming LP Angles, would convince you they never really left.

A sonic blend of their previous albums, “Darkness” features the jangly garage-rock-pop rhythms of Is This It and Room On Fire combined with the cleaner production values of First Impressions of Earth. Singer Julian Casablancas – who reportedly recorded his vocal tracks separate from the rest of the band—isn’t as distorted in the mix as once was common, but it’s unmistakably a Strokes song through-and-through. When he croons that everyone in town has been singing the same song for ten years, it’s more than just a clever nod to “Last Nite”: they’re well aware that the song remains their calling card ten years later, and they’re here to make up for lost time.

Anchored by a ridiculously catchy chorus, it’s true that “Under Cover of Darkness” lacks the fresh impact of the band’s early singles—and isn’t quite as shocking a departure in sound as the ambitious “You Only Live Once” was five years ago—but it’s pretty much what you’d expect from a solid Strokes tune. And after such a long hiatus, fueled by rumors of internal strife amongst bandmembers and scrapped recording sessions, it’s also a lot better than many people might have been expecting it to be.

[Off of Angles, due out March 18th]


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