The Strokes – 'Comedown Machine' album review

Smart, poppy and one of the most accomplished records you’ll hear all year

The Strokes – 'Comedown Machine'

  • Rated as: 4/5

Writing a classic album on your first attempt creates a strange pressure on a band. As Oasis, Arctic Monkeys and The Stone Roses will testify, fans may stay loyal, but deep down they still crave another bite of that elusive first fruit. The Strokes have released three so-so albums since they reinvigorated indie rock with 2001’s ‘Is This It?’. Feeling unenthusiastic this time around? Maybe the band are too, having simply dumped this album in their label’s laps with no gigs or interviews to promote it. If only they’d have some faith. ‘Comedown Machine’ is a gem – smart, poppy and one of the most accomplished records you’ll hear all year.

Where those intervening LPs displayed a suspect desire to prove their musical virtuosity, the band have finally started marrying their flare for riffing to great songs. That trademark sleaze is still there, yet The Strokes have evolved into an ultra-rhythmic juggernaut – replacing the strummy garage rock of yore with precision disco riffs on songs like ‘Tap Out’ and ‘Welcome to Japan’. Even ‘Partner in Crime’s similarity to ‘Another Day in Paradise’ by Phil Collins doesn’t stop the party. It’s cruel that punky treats like ‘50/50’ won’t be whipping mosh pits into a frenzy this summer, but they’ve let the album do the talking, and my word, it’s got more than enough to say.

Watch The Strokes' 'All The Time' video

Listen to 'Comedown Machine' on Spotify

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