Two years after the band’s last CD, it is time for a Comedown Machine by The Strokes album review. The quintet is obviously trying to affirm its status as a modern-day rock band. All in all, there are 11 tracks, each exhibiting the familiar and different sides of this group.
‘Tap Out’ is appropriate as the opening track for the album. It showcases the band’s proficiency in their musical instruments. The highlight is the stop-start interplay done between the guitar and the bass against the intriguing vocals. The song is simply well-crafted.
‘All the Time’ is impressive because of the falsetto vocals used and the attention rendered to the atmosphere. The track is a 3-minute rock song done in The Strokes’ garage wheelhouse. The chorus undoubtedly carries the trademark of the band.
‘One Way Trigger’ was the first single from the album. It sounds more like the songs in vocalist Julian Casablancas’ solo album ‘Phrazes For the Young’ (2009). It is characterized by its slick studio treatment that sounds as a tribute to the 1980s wave.
The band’s live repertoire should always include ‘Welcome to Japan.’ The song has a radio-friendly angular rock groove. The band’s guitarists have showcased their talent as they shine in this track.
‘80’s Comedown Machine is a placid track that made the band sound so atmospheric. The group toyed with ideas that are usually out of its comfort zone. The song serves as an ideal interlude in the middle of the CD.
’50 50’ is a barn burner. It features sound that is uniquely belonging to this band. The vocalist sounds like he has just gotten up from bed with a bad case of hangover. But the genuine and casual style in singing is complemented by no-nonsense guitars.
‘Slow Animals’ would be out-of-place if it was included in any of the band’s previous albums. It features understated and restrained verses with higher octaves rendered by the vocals.
‘Partners in Crime’ is an easy standout. The intro is accompanied by the guitar. This unsuspecting cut in the album infuses nuances into its guiding rhythm. It is an ideal single to draw attention towards the CD.
‘Chances’ is about taking opportunities. Any listener who analyzes the lyrics could easily determine that it is a breakup song. The track is better noted for testing the vocalist’s gentler side in singing. It does not reinvent the band but it is a good break from the band’s norm.
‘Happy Ending’ does not come as the last track in the CD. It is an energetic rock song amid a mix of nuanced and delicate cuts. The 80s production produces a great influence along with guitar licks that were warped to sound like synthesizer beeps.
The last track in the album is called Call It Fate Call It Karma. It does not sound like anything that the band has released in the past. It is aptly described as The Strokes’ bold and awkward venture into the unfamiliar.