A & E

Turn it Up

The Strokes

In an age of singers like Fred Durst screaming about how much they’d like to break stuff, it’s hard to find a band that has actual depth. It’s not very often that a band comes along that breaks out of the mold of mainstream rock and offers a sound that is unconventional, addictive, and intriguing. The Strokes are such a band. Often compared to Velvet Underground and other 70’s bands, The Strokes draw on a wide range of influences for a sound that remains unique and honest. From the first track, “Is This It,” on, it is evident that these five guys have style--from lead singer Julian Casablancas’ unusual, emotional voice to Nick Valensi’s melodic guitar solos to Fab Moretti’s furious drumming.

Feel yourself drift away as the sounds of The Strokes waft airily from the speakers one minute and pound against them the next. Tracks such as “Soma” and “Someday” are extremely catchy yet thoughtful at the same time, and it’s impossible not to sing along to songs like their current single, “Last Nite,” an upbeat, fast-tempo track. “Last Nite” and the loud, energetic “Take It Or Leave It” offer a more radio-ready style, but “Trying Your Luck” and the expansive “The Modern Age” are more experimental. “Is This It,” the title track, has a simple melody, but is one of my favorite songs on the CD. All of the songs have slightly scratchy, fuzzy overtones, as if they were coming through an old AM radio; this adds to the CD’s retro vibe.

Rolling Stone has named them one of the Top 10 bands of the year, and Entertainment Weekly has named Is This It Album of the Year. But The Strokes not only live up to the hype, they surpass it. This new band from New York offers a sound that is fresh, original, and interesting. The album’s only weakness is that a few of the songs end a little too abruptly, but this is overshadowed by the quality of the songs and Julian’s poignant lyrics.

Some say that The Strokes will be the next Beatles. While I am a little skeptical about this particular theory (it’s my opinion that there will never be another band as good as the Beatles), The Strokes are the best new band that’s come around in a long time and will hopefully be around for a while, or as long as there are people who prefer good music over all the trash. There is no doubt that The Strokes possess a rare talent and a sound that cannot be ignored. Buy this CD and experience what music is supposed to be like! As one magazine noted: A band like the Strokes only comes around once in a lifetime. Be grateful that it’s yours.

Sound clips at www.isthisthestrokes.com/audio.html

Katie Schaag, sophomore