We, the contributors, love and support well-made music and make every effort to support the artists we love by purchasing their work (it is our policy only to post what we own). Through this site, we're simply trying to share good music with others who will also hopefully continue to support these artists. We encourage everyone to purchase music and concert tickets for the artists you feel merit your hard earned dollars. Also, if you own the copyright to one of these songs and would like a song removed, please let us know.
With a stance and leather gloves borrowed from a young, hungry Glenn Danzig and an arch sense of theater copped from Morrissey, the lead singer of Iceage overcomes whatever perceived limitations of his voice. This performance is outstanding, and a reminder that their new album is out and it’s so worth your time. You can Buy it at Amazon.
It is a beautiful Spring day. The fly fishermen are waist deep in the river. The dog is full on sprinting for the frisbee. It is not a day to be savored in slow motion but a day to be devoured in huge, messy bites. We’ve been resting on laurels all winter, slowing braising. So fuck it. Let’s sizzle it over some flames and never look back.
I felt compelled to go through all the Strokes solo albums this week and see how they held up. I even made a nifty Spotify playlist to go with it so you can follow along at home.
It goes without saying that Albert Hammond Jr.’s work is the most consistent and the most ultimately Strokes-like. It’s up to you to decide if those are compliments, but you can’t argue that they’re true. Hammond Jr.’s guitar is one of the most easily identifiable elements of the Strokes sound, so it’s not surprising that he stands out among all the solo releases. Vocally, he has a similar understanding of negative space like Casablancas, hovering over the beat, holding notes for too long, waiting a little too long between breathes, cramming in a bunch of words at a time. It works. His voice is strong for these songs, and it totally works.
For some reason (it’s always licensing), Spotify doesn’t include his second album, Como Te Llama, which is a real shame. Lead single GfC is one of his best songs. Still, Hard to Live in the City and The 101 are excellent songs, and specifically songs about Los Angeles, which pretty much discounts them from ever being on a Strokes album.
Little Joy is the best non-Strokes, Strokes-related album. Perhaps I’m biased because of my affinity for Los Angeles, but I think all these guys sound much better with a little sun. Little Joy, named after a bar in Echo Park, bubbles with life, sunshine… the perfect album for a nap in a hammock. Rodrigo Amarante’s voice is uncannily similar to Casablancas, but with infinitely less flop sweat and fear boners. The rag tag band of Laurel Canyon lifers are a perfect match for Fab’s locked-in drumming. It’s just a beautiful album. If it had been a proper Strokes album we would be having much different conversations about them as a band.
Nickel Eye’s album is frankly terrible. There’s no way around it. I had trouble even finding a song worth including here, but what are you gonna do. Lazy, uninspired and thoroughly inessential, it’s barely a footnote in their life as a band. I’m more interested in his 30-minute black and white art film he made and scored with his wife, but I haven’t seen it. Anyone?
Nick Valensi has been quiet as a solo artist, but he wrote and played all the riffs on Sia’s We Are Born – her post Six Feet Under breakthrough album that was quickly forgotten because she was mostly famous for a Four Tet remix. But Valensi’s guitar is undeniable – bright, and fun and necessary. He has hooks to spare, and the album is totally worth a listen.
He also played on Devendra’s Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Mountain, alongside much of the same musicians that backed Little Joy. I personally hate this album, but I like what they were attempting to do, so I tolerate it.
Dead Tree is many of the same guys, mostly from Little Joy. They capture a lot of the early 2000s vibes of the first Strokes album and the early Walkmen albums. Their album was a disappointment, but their relationship to the Strokes is close enough that it was worth including.
Finally, we have Julian’s solo album, which a lot of folks consider to be the best, and the one that has steered the sound of the last couple Strokes records. Eh. I like two or three songs, but overall I think it’s kind of a jumbled, lazy, digital mess – too in love with the idea of ‘80s synthesizers without the brains or the balls for the actual execution. It has a lot in common with Phil Lynott’s Solo in Soho album – a couple of killer singles filled out with some lazy faux digital reggae songs about alleys and girls.
As I put this together, I thought that maybe among all these solo works there would be a great lost Strokes album. Seeing them all together, I don’t think that’s the case. Each member has too many weaknesses and too few ideas. So what we have is a pretty good Strokes album, which, if you think about it, is par for the course.
There is still plenty of life left in the chillwave, especially when the beat underneath the hazy vocals throbs like the best Kavinsky / Valerie Collective production. Obviously a French import, Fear Club is quietly building a nice collection of tracks on his soundcloud page. It’s perfect stuff for this uneasy transition into Spring evoking the stickiest-hottest days of Summer in the best possible way. Best enjoyed poolside.
Oh man, we need songs like this, right? It may not be the most original sound around, but that’s kind of the point: it hits the sweet spot in your pop music subconscious, cramming all the minutes of FM radio that you’ve heard in your lifetime into one sweet little song.
Parks hail from Boston, and they’ve been getting some prettygreat press in the past few months. Keep it coming, kids, keep it coming.
This new single from Night Riders, taken from their upcoming French-language full length, Future Noir, blended in almost seamlessly while listening to the new Kavinsky this morning. It’s a similar throbbing, neurotic bass, somewhere between dancing and being chased. Sinister and seductive, I’ve already listened three times this morning and it keeps growing on me. It’s one of those songs that doesn’t necessarily work on paper but totally earns its status in practice.
They’ve just finished the final mix on the album, and I’m told to expect a slew of remixes when the singles officially drop.
I love their blend of surf-rock and mid-period Kinks. They’re not up to anything revolutionary, they’re just a band playing good ol’ rock music, and I like that. We can’t all be pushing the envelope. This is the kind of song my two-year-old daughter likes to dance around to, banging a pot. We need bands like this.