Monday, 1 April 2013

The Strokes - Comedown Machine

Twelve years after bursting onto the scene with Is This It and changing rock music for the better (as well as sending sales of Converse All Stars through the stratosphere), The Strokes are back with their fifth LP, Comedown Machine. 

On the back of 2011's slightly lacklustre Angles, Messrs Casablancas, Valensi, Hammond, Fraiture and Moretti promised fans a return to form for their fifth record; have they delivered? Kind of yes, and mostly no.

Comedown Machine is a strange creature that at first listen sounds like a roaring triumph for the New York quintet. Whilst the opener 'Tap Out' is a little ill-fitting (it sounds a little too much like Passion Pit and not enough like the Strokes for my liking), the second track 'All the Time' is simply great.

A catchy foot-tapping track that could be taken straight off of First Impressions of Earth, 'All the Time' is classic Strokes. Meanwhile, whilst lead single 'One Way Trigger' sounded strange to start off with, after a few listens it worms its way into your head and sticks. The falsetto chorus from Casablancas is different to say the least but not as terrible as many people would tell you.

The catchy 'Welcome to Japan' sounds reminiscent of 'Under Cover of Darkness' (one of the few tracks I liked off Angles). Mid-tempo ballad '80's Comedown Machine' is an odd change of pace that throws you off but it's the fuzzy sounds of '50/50' that gets things pointing in the right direction again; it's brash, angry and rough around the edges. Good stuff.

From this point on, things start to get a little disappointing. 'Slow Animals' and 'Chances' are so far flung from what we know and love about the bands early work that it just falls flat. 'Partners in Crime' is catchy but not in a good way.

Put all of this all together and Comedown Machine is an album of two halves; a half decent first half with some funky stand-out tracks followed by an odd and misguided second. If you wanted short, scuzzy rock then '50/50' and 'All the Time' are worth downloading but other than that, this one is mainly for the die-hard fans.

The Strokes - Comedown Machine: 5/10
Download these: 50/50, All the Time, One Way Trigger

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