Julian Casablancas + The Voidz – Tyranny

Fusing psychedelic pop, noise rock, lo-fi, and synth punk, this Julian Casablancas side-project is incredibly dense, diverse, and fun.

The Strokes – Comedown Machine

The Strokes continue to search for different sounds on this latest album of theirs, but it doesn’t seem they’re that picky about what the end product sounds like. The fact they sound “different” is what seems to take precedent.

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The Strokes, Matmos, Biffy Clyro, Joe Budden, Mister Lies, Sannhet, Inc., and more w/the Quickness

Quick and cursory reviews and mentions of some recently released albums and songs I wanted to talk about before the weekend was out. Have a nice day! Enjoy!

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The Strokes – “All The Time”

New York’s swankiest rock band, the Strokes, have dropped another single from their forthcoming LP, Comedown Machine. The album currently looking at a March 26th release date, but I’m not so sure I’m excited to get there after this listening experience.

As you may know, I dug on the synth-led sound of “One Way Trigger,” and while that track might not have been one of the Strokes’ best, I think “All The Time” is incredibly soulless. It’s a track that does nothing but embrace the band’s usual tropes, but little to no energy or charisma.

The Strokes – “One Way Trigger”

The Strokes drop a surprising new single that takes the band’s typically tight sound, and covers it
with rigid synths and a questionable falsetto.

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The Young Crooks- “Wasting Time”

The Young Crooks are a new trio with a new EP, which is titled Phone. And I’m sure the “young” in their name isn’t a lie. These guys sound very young. The group’s lyrics about partying and doing drugs are a giveaway, but only someone under the age of 20 could have the guts to combine ironic rap verses with the sounds of pop and reggae–these guys clearly aren’t worried about any Sublime comparisons, which could be due to a generational divide.

But despite any premonitions of corniness, Young Crooks have a pretty loveable sound. What makes it so interesting is how they present their their style. The lyrics touch down on things the band was probably doing yesterday, but the stories are looked back upon with an old-world sentimentality. The light, dreamy, lo-fi sound only adds to the effect.

On “Wasting Time,” lead vocals sing about “kids these days” as if the narrator were fifty years old, looking back fondly on memories of spliffs, girls, parents, and growing up.

There’s something about it that reminds me of the Strokes and Vampire Weekend a little bit, too. Of course, that’s a good thing.

Download Phone for free at Young Crooks’ Bandcamp page. Here is a somewhat decent-sized picture of the EP’s cover:

Stream the new Balkans LP

Found through the Fader, here’s a nice, full stream of the self-titled Balkans album that’s dropping this month Double Phantom Records.

The album is an attractive blend sounds similar to that of UK post-punk, the Walkmen, and the Strokes. Lots of rough guitars, catchy songwriting, and guts.

Balkans- “Troubled and Done”


MP3

Back before this blog was lookin’ like a vanilla ice cream cone with a cherry on top, we blogged the track “Edita V” from this up-and-coming Atlanta outfit, Balkans. Their debut LP is coming out in May, and “Troubled and Done” is another tease toward it.

I can’t get over how much this band sounds like a solid combination of the Walkmen and the Strokes. Not only do I catch it in the dry guitars and overstated vocals, but they’ve got the buff and catchy songwriting to match.

Grab the track “Edita V” below, and make sure to hit up Balkans’ website for show dates and info.

“Edita V” MP3

The Vaccines- What Did You Expect From the Vaccines?

The Vaccines don’t have the most original of styles or tunes, but they know a catchy hook when they hear one. What Did You Expect From the Vaccines? is a record that functions on those basic principles of a catchy rock album: energy, straightforwardness, volume.

With influences ranging from the Ramones to the Jesus & Mary Chain, there’s definitely some ear-shattering guitar reverb on a few of these tracks, but the Vaccines rely on simplicity more than they do guts. A few tracks do stand out a being exceptionally rowdy, but there are plenty of moments where this album lowers the heat to a simmer. To me, the slower moments aren’t as captivating as the fast, but it’s nice the band added more than one dimension to the songs here.

While I don’t think originality is the most important of things–especially since everything is influenced by something–I find it difficult finding something to take away from this album. There a handful of fun tracks; and while the others aren’t bad at all, they’re nothing to flip out over, for me.

I enjoyed it, but I’m in no rush to come back, that’s all. Just my opinion.

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The Strokes- Angles

On their latest LP, the Strokes want to head in a new direction, but they can’t decide on one. So they use every track to obtain a different sound. Moments like “Under Cover of Darkness” embrace what’s best about the band’s past work, but “Two Kinds of Happiness” shoots for a sound most would probably associate with the 80s.

Though it’s kinda all over the place, most of the songs here are quite good. Maybe the band is exploring new territory since this is the first album after their hiatus.

As long as they’re writing good tunes, I’ll be listening.

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