Room on Fire was the 'difficult' follow up to the Strokes debut and forever high water mark Is This it. Always suffering from the missed opportunity of not being called Is *This* It, Room On Fire was caught between being a retread of their debut and forging ahead with a new more high fidelity sound. Despite a smoother production, it just about does a job in satisfying fans of their catchy and cool indie rock whilst proving that the band weren't going to be just a one album wonder.
Vinyl LP £15.49 RTRADELP130
LP on Rough Trade.
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8/10 Tom 31st May 2018
If you were paying attention in the early 2000's it was pretty much impossible to ignore the explosion of popularity that cooler-than-cool New Yorkers the Strokes experienced in the aftermath of their debut album Is This It. It was a kind of mania that very rarely happens anymore and the fact that Is This It was actually a really good album meant that the pressure was on for the band to match the almost impossible expectations of their fans for album number two.
Released two years later, Room on Fire sticks almost completely to the sound of the debut which means clean, driving chords, wiry, melodic leads, the almost-robotic drumming and Julian Casablancas' peaky croon. In fact, the only real variation comes from the use of different rhythms (the ska-like 'Automatic Stop', the doo-woppy 'Under Control') which gives Room on Fire a slightly more measured feel than it's breezy predecessor. Regardless, it's still full of really good songs and remains the last good Strokes album.
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