My love for The Strokes started when everyone else’s did, in 2001. I remember first hearing Someday and wishing I was a teenager in New York rather than the Isle Of Man. Being a teenager in Grimsby would’ve been better than the Isle Of Man, anyway- moving on.
Their debut album, Is This It did something to me that has lasted 10 years. It has been an album I go to when everything seems a bit shit. The frustration I hear in Julian’s voice and the lyrics means so much to me. As a result, I have Is This It tattooed on my wrist. I know it sounds oh so morbid, but maybe it’s just my sick sense of humour coming through.
Many websites and magazines have constantly said how important Is This It is, ignored Room On Fire and just destroyed First Impressions Of Earth.
It’s about time this is put right.
I’ll start with First Impressions. Basically, it pisses me off and wounds me when people just dismiss it. Have you not listened to Juicebox? Have you ignored the beautiful lyrics of Evening Sun? What about Razorblade? Seriously, it is an amazing album. If you hate it, I doubt my words will make you change your view. Try and give it one more listen before you dismiss it and you will see just how wonderful it is.
Room On Fire. Overlooked slightly I feel. The End Has No End, Between Love & Hate, Meet Me In The Bathroom- why isn’t this album held up as high as Is This It?
All of their albums, including Angles have that mind blowing raw, aggressive New York sound. Many have tried to copy it, but they cannot master it. The Strokes have, with every single album.
Jules’ voice is everything I want in a singer. He just sings every word with frustration and a lot of feeling- yet at the same time, just makes it look like he doesn’t give a shit. Yet you know he does. On The Other Side is one of my favourites, “I hate them all.I hate myself, for hating them. So I’ll drink some more. I love them all. I’ll drink even more. I’ll hate them even more than I did before.” The sheer disappointment in his voice here, that seems directed at himself, well- it is something we can all relate to. That’s why I love First Impressions Of Earth so much. Out of all 4 albums, this one just pours out with disappointment and frustration.
Each band member just makes everything they do look so effortless and natural but at the same time you can see how much they love what they are doing. Everything about them is easy to relate to. A lot prefer to hold musicians away from reality, but I think it’s good to feel like you can relate to them. In a way, it just makes you feel less alone.
You get bands such as The Smiths, Velvet Underground, Ramones, My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus & Mary Chain etc who just change everything in music. They are rare and so many try to copy them over and over, but there will never be anyone quite like them again. I feel The Strokes fall into a list of bands just like that. There will never be another band like The Strokes.
Their solo projects made me think, “this cannot be the end” cue a few panic attacks, but their solo projects were stunning. All of them. Then a week ago, we were finally blessed with Angles. No it isn’t like Is This It. You know why? Because that was 10 years ago. They’ve grown up, got married, and had children- they’ve changed. If you fell in love with them 10 years ago like I did, then nothing in the world is going to stop you from loving them now.
The Strokes to me are what The Smiths and Garbage are to me. My crutch. They are the three bands I go to when everything is wrong, besides it’s a lot better than bothering a friend. I love a lot of bands and different kinds of music, but there is something about The Strokes that just have everything I want. It’s like finding your dream home in the perfect location. That’s right, music means more to me than where I live (to an extent…I don’t want to live in a cardboard box!)
If/when they split up, I have no idea what I will do- I’m just thankful I’ve had a band like The Strokes to be everything I want and more.