Quick Review (LP): Angles by The Strokes

The Strokes
RCA; 2011

My Rating: B (77/100)

Best Tracks: "Machu Picchu", "Under Cover of Darkness", "Two Kinds of Happiness", "Call Me Back", "Gratisfaction"

Apparently, no one likes this album. I guess it takes someone who didn’t believe the hype in the first place to say this, but I dig it quite a bit, thank you.

– Love the sound of "Machu Picchu."
– "Under Cover of Darkness" sounds like classic Strokes.
– Nice 80’s sound on "Two Kinds of Happiness." Sounds sort of like golden age Tom Petty.
– "Girl from Impanema" salute on "Call Me Back."
– I dig the sort of goofy evil robot feel of "Metabolism.” Were they aiming to make a contribution to the Tron: Legacy soundtrack?
– What does that cover remind me of, other than Q-Bert?
– "Gratisfaction" sounds like Thin Lizzy.
– My take is that the band is posturing for a Weezer-like second decade. I don’t think they really care at this point about being countercultural heroes so much as continuing to churn out hyper-catchy indie rock. Fair enough.
– This is a band that comes with a lot of baggage for most who care, but I’ve never been one to see them as a sort of second coming for rock and roll. I think that allows me to appreciate this record on its own as a catchy little slice of clubby rock and roll fun. Sort of like a good Huey Lewis record, radio-ready and bound to put a smile on your face, even though it may well be the most vapid and empty thing released this year. Tastes great, less filling. You can have it both ways.

Cohesion (4/5)
Consistency (4.5/5)
Consequence (4.5/5)
Concept (4/5)
Songs (4.5/5)

Quick Review (LP): Astro Coast by Surfer Blood

surfer blood astro coast Surfer Blood
Astro Coast
Kanine; 2010

My Rating: C

Best Tracks: “Swim”, “Slow Jabroni”

It’s simultaneously a strange and a given thing that these guys are indie darlings. On one hand, they sound like a less-interesting-than-Weezer retread of The Cars. On the other hand, a vibe reminiscent of the dorm room goofball pop of The Dismemberment Plan is evident. Overall, it’s decent, but I can’t really see what would set it apart from any other indie band I’m likely to see on any given night in any given club. Even Pitchfork seems to think the lead single “Swim” is likely to remind you of a “Buzz Bin one-off”, and that’s on the way to calling it “Best New Music.” I don’t think so. This smells too much of mediocrity. The hooks don’t pierce and the melody is high but monotonous. I suspect these guys were riding the overly reverb’d wave of indie beach pop, but after a mighty flood, that tide’s going out.

Pitchfork review
Metacritic review