[sic] Magazine

The Strokes – Comedown Machine

So it turns out The Strokes were actually an eighties pop band masquerading as the Velvet Underground . The appropriately named ‘Comedown Machine’ is for all intents and purposes a Julian Casablancas solo album which owes as much of a heavy debt to Simon Le Bon as it does Lou Reed .

Opener ‘Tap Out’ should see the brilliant French pop band Phoenix consult their lawyers for copyright infringement; the truly awful ‘One Way Trigger’ sounds like A’ha attending remedial poetry class, while the title track could herald the start of the Howard Jones revival. Three songs save this album from descending into tedium namely the excellent dark power pop ‘All The Time’ , the stinging punk rock of ‘50:50’ and the mellow loveliness of ‘Chances’. Perhaps, in extending the milk of human kindness, a tick in the box could also go to the risky experimentation on the last song ‘Call It Fate, Call It Karma’, but frankly a one-off listen to this should satisfy even the most charitable member of the Casablancas fan club.

Bands like The Killers and the Strokes have taken to plundering the 1980s and producing albums which are either dire ( Day And Age ) or average ( Angles ). If you really want to hear this kind of music done with real energy and verve buy music by Phoenix , Crystal Castles or Radio Dept .

The Strokes have in effect turned into a decent pop band, which is fine but they started promising something genuinely bold and forward thinking. Apologies to diehard Strokes fans who will undoubtedly view these comments as unhelpful, but if you honesty felt Is This It was a seminal feast in which to indulge your finest musical tastes, ‘Comedown Machine’ is like cold rice pudding with brown skin on top.