The boys of The Strokes are men now. But their most recent album, Angles, will leave you wishing for the gritty scruffiness of their younger years. Back in 2001, the young New York garage rockers blindsided listeners with Is This It? and again, in 2003, with Room on Fire.
As twenty-somethings, the Strokes were revivalists griming up the music that they loved. And, yet, on Angles, the band is trying too hard to leave a legacy — as if to create a sound for some future band to revive. Bad idea. “Machu Picchu” is a confusing dance track. “You’re So Right” and “Games” are bad and “Metabolism” is worse — both tracks drowning in horrible synth lines, tinny drums and weak, wailing vocals.
And yet, the band intersperses these terrible decisions with perfectly good ones: “Taken For a Fool” and “Gratisfaction.” Sure, bands should grow and change. But this spacey, disco-party of a record feels like the band is falling, grabbing anything they can on the way down.