Trending
MOST READ
SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the San Antonio... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

College Issue 2014: Sell clothes. Plato’s Closet is a great place to take your gently worn apparel in exchange for cold, hard cash. They accept clothes, shoes and... By Brittany Minor 8/18/2014
Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Food & Drink: There was a special kind of draw at Alamo Ice House on a recent Tuesday evening. A handful of weeks after opening its... By Jessica Elizarraras 10/22/2014
6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

Food & Drink: Cheesy Jane’s. Multiple locations, cheesyjanes.com. If the name is any indicator, this San Antonio staple doesn’t mess around when it comes to... By Tommie Ethington 10/22/2014

Best Local Artist

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Aural Pleasure Review

The Strokes : 'Comedown Machine'

Photo: , License: N/A


About a minute into opener “Tap Out,” right around the time its Bad-era MJ groove morphs into a chorus that must have been lifted from some lost Psychedelic Furs B-side, it’s fair to wonder what the hell is going on with the Strokes’ latest album. The quintet isn’t done, though: check the Duran Duran guitar line anchoring “Welcome to Japan,” the Vampire Weekend aping chamber pop on “80s Comedown Machine,” or how “One Way Trigger” manages to cleverly rework A-ha’s “Take On Me.” In fact, the one band they rarely manage to sound like is the Strokes.

Alright, that may be overstating things a tad. Comedown features a handful of tracks that could fit comfortably on their last release, 2011’s Angles. But that was a record detrimentally hampered by its comeback album expectations and the overriding sense that its makers were simply going through the motions. By contrast, Comedown feels liberated, the product of a band that has come to terms with their legacy and resolved to not give a fuck about it. Even its title seems self-referential — a means of deflating their mythos by deconstructing the idea of what the Strokes are supposed to be.

Mostly they do this with the music, which boldly skews from dynamic proto-punk, British dance-rock, breezy ballads, and slick synth-heavy pop on a song-by-song basis. Those who paid attention to the Strokes’ solo records shouldn’t be too thrown off by these stylistic shifts. The ’80s electro and falsetto fascination of Julian Casablancas’s Phrazes for the Young is all over the place, as is the sun-baked folk of Fabrizio Moretti’s Little Joy project, and the jangly pop of Albert Hammond Jr.’s handful of records. But how well they manage to piece it all together is Comedown’s triumph. They don’t get the formula right every time, but at worst songs like “All the Time” and “Slow Animals” are forgettable rather than grating.

For many who have followed the band for over a decade, Comedown Machine as a term describes as well as any their slow creative slide since Is This It? As an album title, it not only serves as a cheeky acknowledgement of this trend, but as an ironically definitive statement that the slide is now over. Comedown is clearly their best since Room on Fire, and strong proof that this isn’t it yet for the Strokes.

Recently in Music
  • The Otherworldly Appeal of Pure X’s ‘Angel’ Before we treat the music of Pure X’s third LP Angel, let’s take a moment to appreciate the airbrushed brilliance of its album art. On a... | 10/22/2014
  • The Infinite Blues of Woodstock Alums Canned Heat Thirty-two bands played the original Woodstock back in 1969. Of those 32, two are still at it today. And if you discount Santana on the grounds that he’s really more a guy than a band at this point, well, that just leaves Canned Heat. Half a century is a | 10/22/2014
  • Step Off: How Kacey Musgraves won Nashville Though she was born in 1988 and released her first recordings at the age of 14, Texas native Kacey Musgraves has always... | 10/22/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus