When the news hit that the Strokes were getting back together, I was pleasantly surprised. While I wouldn’t claim to be a die-hard, fan I enjoy the music and never fail to have a song of theirs in my “Recently Played” folder on iTunes.
However, when I heard that they had a new album in the works, something smelled a little fishy. We’ve all seen bands re-unite after a break-up to record an album and, let’s face it, their odds are a little iffy. Coming back together to perform live seems to work fairly well (Thrush Hermit is my go to example), but I wasn’t so sure about Angles. I knew I needed to stay detached.
Sure enough though, as the days came closer and teasers were dropped, I will admit that the hype got to me. The free single available for download and reading about riots at SXSW got me a little excited. But only a little.
And really, I’m glad I stayed fairly reserved. The album is only slightly better than mediocre.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing when you think about it. It certainly could have been worse; but it could have also been a lot better. The songs, for the most part, feel pretty bland and seem to borrow from others. After listening to “Under Cover Of Darkness” I found myself comparing it to new Weezer. It’s an OK song, but, like Rivers and the gang, it felt tired and lacklustre.
There are a few enjoyable tracks on here though. The opening track, “Machu Picchu” is quite good and I’m fond of “Metabloism” which has a ominous, darker sort of sound to it, while remaining distinctly Strokes-ish. That being said, I never found myself wanting to hit repeat and they don’t stick out like a “Last Nite” or “Reptilia”.
What Angles really lacks is some punch or depth. There is not a track on here that really stands out in terms of sound or emotion. I usually try and listen to an album about three times through before forming a solid opinion but I found that it felt the same from the first listen to fourth and beyond.
In short, there are definitely some good songs on here and it plays well as background music but, outside of that, save your money.