The New Abnormal | Review

Feature Album SITG 2020 The Strokes

The Strokes - The New Abnormal | Feature Album

This week’s feature album is the brand new record from indie rock legends, The Strokes. Despite having one of the most mixed back catalogues of recent decades, the band remains a pillar of rock based on their debut masterpiece, ‘Is This It?’, which needs no introduction by now (available here). Their contemporaries such as The Killers and Interpol have all seen steady success in the wake of their debuts, even nearing 20 years after their release, but every action has seen mixed results in their attempts to expand and experiment on their signature sounds, some greater than others.

This is the follow-up ‘Is This It?’ deserves. It sees the Strokes finally return to their finest form in both lo-fi melodies and fantastic lyrics. Julian Casablanca’s vocals remain soaring yet personal as he reflects on youth, politics and friendships across 9 of the band's best songs to date. ‘Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus’ is a shining example of the band creating the rock they should have a decade ago, playing with structure and synths to then move into one of the best choruses I’ve heard this year.

Singles ‘At the Door’ and ‘The Adults Are Talking’ both act as tasteful departures from their standard formulas, yet remain authentic to their sound while updating it for their current stance. And if you want signature Strokes, 'Selfless' and 'Why Are Sundays So Depressing?' are both tracks that could work on 2003's 'Room On Fire' as much as they do now.

The album is tasteful, original and reminds us of why the Strokes continue to see success. It is deserving of your time, regardless of whether you’re a fan or not. It’s one of my new favourite rock records, and I can’t wait for them to tour alongside Splendour in the Grass (hopefully). Until then, grab your copy of ‘The New Abnormal’ here. You won’t regret it.

Mitchell Phillips

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