Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Strokes Musical Family Tree

Right, so I think we were all pretty excited when Julian Casablancas announced that he was working on a solo project. But I also think we were all expecting it to sound less like a late 80s dance hit. The new single from his album Phrazes for the Young definitely confused me, what with all the synthesizers and all. Who knew that his signature voice would go well with that style? At the moment I'm still confused, but the track is growing on my every time I listen to it. Not that sounding like an 80s dance hit is a bad thing, it's just I was expecting something, you know, a little closer to the Strokes.

Julian Casablancas - 11th Dimension (mp3) (amazon) (iTunes)

On that note, I'd like to take a brief moment to look back on the Strokes Musical Family Tree.

Starting with the base, five-piece New York City garage rock darlings, the Strokes. I have a theory that when they first formed, they made it a rule that you had to have a completely awesome name in order to join the band. Hence vocalist Julian Casablancas, guitarists Albert Hammond Jr. and Nick Valensi, bassist Nikolai Fraiture and drummer Fabrizio Moretti. If you're an indie kid and enjoy music in any way shape or form, it's impossible not to like the Strokes. They're the epitome of the their genre. If you visit the mySpace page of a young band that's just started out, the Strokes are probably one of the top ten they've listed in their influences list.

The Strokes - Reptilia (mp3) (amazon) (iTunes)

Moving onto this family tree's branches. Four out of five of the Strokes have embarked on their own solo projects. Albert Hammond Jr. thought his name was awesome enough as it was and kept it for his project. When someone mentions the Strokes, the first things that usually come to mind are Julian Casablancas' raspy vocals and Albert Hammond Jr.'s catchy guitar riffs. Listening to either of his solo albums, you'll definitely hear the connections. I also hear he's coming out with a line of men's suits? Spiffy.

Albert Hammond Jr. - In Transit
(mp3) (amazon) (iTunes)

Fabrizio Moretti joined up with some friends and had Little Joy. They have a happy and care free kind of sound. If I ever decided to go on vacation at some tropical beach paradise where the sun's always shining, the water's always clear and the hotel serves drinks in coconut shells with tiny umbrellas, the Little Joy album would most definitely be the soundtrack for the photo slide show I make for my friends and family when I get back.

Little Joy - The Next Time Around (mp3) (amazon) (iTunes)

And Nikolai Fraiture asked himself, "how can I make my name more awesome than it already is". He came up with the witty "Nickel Eye". Of all the Strokes solo releases, this one has got more of that blue-sy feel and a much darker tone.

Nickel Eye - Back From Exile (mp3) (amazon) (iTunes)

Now we're just waiting on you, Nick Valensi. Make us proud, son.

1 comment:

Hanan said...

love this post.

the ending note is great. Nick already has a side project, it's called making beautiful babies!