With the release of their fourth studio album, Angles, New Yorkâ€™s favorite rock and roll band The Strokes are gearing up to play a sold-out show this Friday at Madison Square Garden. But are they ready for such a massive audience? Absolutely. With a solid back catalog and a handful of bright, shiny, and eclectic new tunes, this band is bound to rock.
Angles mixes classic Strokes sounds with a little synth and some throw-back 80â€™s sensibility. Classic Strokes tunes, like â€œGratisfactionâ€ and â€œLife Is Simple,â€ are fun, catchy, post-punk songs that get two thumbs up for quality, but donâ€™t really seem to expand their sound so much. Thatâ€™s where â€œMachu Picchuâ€ and â€œGamesâ€ come in. These tracks, in addition to a few others, are a huge departure for the band. Â They are incredibly synthy and could very well belong in a John Hughes movie soundtrack. They arenâ€™t bad, necessarily, but they donâ€™t really fit in at all. â€œTwo Kinds of Happiness,â€ is a fun up-tempo song that alternates sounding like The Cars to sounding like a U2 B-side. Despite its derivative quality, it really is a great song.
But the standout track by far is â€œTaken for a Fool,â€ which they recently performed on Letterman. This song has such an epic, anthem quality to it in every possible way. Frontman Julian Casablancasâ€™ sleazy Iggy Pop-like croon is smooth with a hint of cockiness, because Iâ€™m sure he knows just how good the song really is. With Fabrizio Morettiâ€™s smashing drums and Nick Valensiâ€™s simple, yet ridiculously addictive ringing guitar hooks, this song is bound to be a Top 40 hit. And perhaps they know it too, as Casablancas sings, â€œI hope this goes over well, on the toxic radio.â€ Toxic indeedâ€”you guys are killer.