The Strokes – Future, Present, Past e.p – Review

5 Aug

‘Future, Present, Past’ is a four track e.p and palette cleanser after the bitter taste of The Strokes last album, the well-intentioned but badly executed ‘Comedown Machine’, before whatever comes next. As the heavy handed title suggests, the three proper songs on the e.p (plus redundant remix) recall past glories as much as they cast an eye down new avenues. As was true on ‘Comedown Machine’, the more they stick to tried and tested methods, the more successful they are.

There are some classic strokes traits at play here; vocal distortion, the duelling guitars, melodic bass lines, thumping drumbeat etc. When they diverge from this script, they falter. The most experimental track, ‘Drag Queen’ is a strange, bombastic post-punk disaster¬†that recalls the horrors of Julian’s last solo album. That only leaves two tracks to clean up the mess but luckily ‘Oblivious’ and ‘Threat of Joy’ are bright, melodic and casually cool. A 2:1 hit to miss ratio isn’t ideal when you’re the band of a generation releasing your first record in 3 years but everything about ‘Future, Present, Past’ wants to shrug off that reputation, and expectation, anyway. This is nothing more and nothing less than the sound of five old friends making a fun racket together.

6/10

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