We haven’t been gnashing at the bit to write about the Strokes album, which arrives in just under three weeks. Our excitement is a tad shy after the beating it received from First Impressions of Earth. All over the map, that record was, our necks are still sore from whiplash. But with 5 years worth of healing and forgetfulness between then and now, their new album Angles (out 3/22) has our curiosity. After ages of rumors, snippets, samples and tidbits, we finally have a certified single and a video to keep it company. “Under Cover of Darkness” is classic as The Strokes can manage, with marriages, lack of alcohol and life yanking at the circumstances they sang of so long ago in 1998, the song can’t help but show a bit of the maturity the members have gained on their sojourns. As time has past, we’ve discovered our New York big brothers won’t take us out partying anymore, they have kids of their own to worry about. But, on the bright side, the 6th member of Nick Valensi’s guitar riffs is very much back, falling in line with Julian Casablancas’ terrible, yet perfect vocal mumblings and Fabrizio Moretti’s percussion. It’s just too bad Casablancas didn’t learn he isn’t suited for the soaring notes. He shouldn’t plead, he should tell.
The video begins with all the members separated throughout an empty theater, and the singer lounging backstage with his liquor. They never really join up, until the most climactic end moment, when Casablancas finally steps on stage in full regalia to complete the line up we’ve been longing to see. IT LASTS A LOUSY 25 SECONDS. BaH! And to rub it in, the clip uses the ol’ “they’ve been playing to empty chairs the whole time” trick. FINE. We get it. The Strokes are finally back, and they’re ready. But please, put them in a greasy, soppy bar and let them have their way with it. Give them the old joy from nostalgic audiences and on-stage chemistry. Don’t dress up our Strokes and make them different. We just couldn’t handle it a second time.
VEVO is the Devil. Catch the video HERE.
Also, listen to the better “You’re So Right”: another streaming track from Angles, while you can below.
(Angles will be available 3/22/11 via RCA)