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To my mind The Strokes’ career hit the rails when they failed to title the follow up to wildly successful debut ‘Is This it?’ ‘Is This It?’. On previous album ‘Angles’ the pre-publicity surrounded guitarist Nick Valensi describing the recording process as “awful – just awful” - at least it was refreshing to see a band not toeing the party line with “this is our best album yet” bollocks.
You would think that by that point The Strokes were on their last legs but here they are sounding quite refreshed and in many places not Strokes like at all. I’ve been racking my brains all morning to try to describe the sound of opener ‘Tap Out’ but all that I can come up with is “lame ‘80s pop”. Better is ‘All the Time’ which ups the guitar ante and has one of those sing-song nursery rhyme choruses they are so fond of. Single ‘One Way Trigger’ bounds along like a particularly exuberant puppy with a keyboard line very similar to The Stranglers’ ‘No More Heroes’, Casablancas’s falsetto on the chorus strained veering to shrill.
Elsewhere they mess about with funk-pop (‘Welcome to Japan’), pleasant almost Felt-like ballads (the title track) and get that vocal distortion out on flat out rocker ‘50/50’. The second half of the album veers between a sort of heavily produced take on the sort of distorto-pop they are known for and more laid back material. I quite like the slinky grooves of ‘Slow Animals’ and ‘Chances’ but it’s not The Strokes so you wonder really who it will appeal to. I don’t think ‘Comedown Machine’ is a bad album per se (it’s miles better than ‘Angles’ for a start), it just sounds kind of lost, the songs peter out and the hooks never hit the way they should.
9/10 Jackson McInnes Customer review, 31st July 2013
Thank you soooo much for the record, it was very enjoyable and arrived in excellent condition. It's the first record I have bought from you guys but I will certainly be coming back! Your rating options also made me chuckle: From 'Utter Shite' to 'Perfection' - Can't argue with that really!
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- Comedown Machine by The Strokes
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