Column: The Strokes are one-dimensional

Ryan Meyer, Reporter

My father knows more about music than anyone I know. I always go to him for questions concerning anything from music theory to the year of release of a Beatles B-side. That being said, I didn’t agree with his opinion of one of my favorite bands, the Strokes. He said that their style was “one-dimensional.” 

I can now see where he was coming from, but at the time I was unwilling to admit it. After going through their discography multiple times, I began to agree with him. The intricate dual guitar attack of Albert Hammond Jr. and Nick Valensi was present on each album, with little variation in their sound. Until the album Comedown Machine, released in 2013, which was derided by critics and fans alike. 

Personally, I really enjoy that album, particularly the song “Chances.” This album was a little more exotic and definitely dreamier, something that appealed to me after their first four garage-y albums. 

Since “Comedown Machine,” the Strokes have only released an unsatisfying EP in 2016, and played sporadic shows, mostly at festivals. Fans have been left to live off the side projects of each member and anxiously await any news of a Strokes release. 

The wait is now over, as the band released a song entitled “At the Door” on February 11. It is unlike anything I’ve ever heard from them. In a good way. 

I think. The song is almost intimidating in that I have no idea what the rest of their impending album, The New Abnormal, will sound like. The song features stabbing synthesizers, almost no drums, and no guitar until the chorus. 

This is what I wanted, right? I need to hear another single to make up my mind. 

I haven’t asked my dad what he thinks of this new song yet, but I think he might change his mind. 

Something that may have helped him form his opinion is a notion that many music fans shared when the Strokes began releasing music. Many believed they were posing rich kids that ripped off punk bands of the 1970s, such as Television. 

In multiple interviews, the band claimed to have never heard of Television. I see no reason not to believe them. The point is, these new Strokes don’t sound anything like Television, or even the Strokes for that matter. “At the Door” doesn’t sound like anything I’ve ever heard. And that’s what has got me so curious. 

The New Abnormal is out April 10. I’m excited to hear what this legendary band still has left in their tank.

Ryan Meyer is a freshman journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]