Track Review: The Strokes – “One Way Trigger”

[RCA; 2013]

Bet you didn’t see this coming. After a five-year span of touch-and-go recording sessions that would eventually become Angles, it seemed safe to assume we wouldn’t be hearing from the Strokes for quite a while. Instead, the five frenemies bore down and got back to recording right away. Whether this was due to rekindled enthusiasm or just an attempt to run out their contract with RCA as soon as possible, we may never know.

“One Way Trigger”, possibly a cut from the Strokes’ yet-to-be-titled fifth album, exudes even more of that ’80s luster. It will likely go down as one of their most divisive songs, and it has caused an uproar among purists. The main riff pulls inspiration from the likes of A-ha’s “Take On Me”, 8-bit video games, and goofball glam rock. Singer Julian Casablancas finds his inner Elliott Smith, mumbling into the microphone in slo-mo falsetto before a peppy instrumental breakdown prompts him to return to his trademark croon: “You asked me to stay,” he recalls. For better or worse, they’ve definitely given up on trying to recreate Is This It?.