music: oblivion ep, the strokes

The nausea-inducing tension rising in the pit of your stomach upon learning one of your idolised bands are making a comeback, is the purest display of passion.  You pinpoint the station or site the track is being premièred via, you read the speculations, you poise and prepare before finally, finally plunging into the song to change your world and… It just wasn’t worth the hype.  Is there a worse feeling than bitter, disappointed regret?

Today’s revelation: The Strokes.

We’re all in love with lead singer/songwriter, Julian Casablancus (regardless of your sexual preference, don’t even try to deny it) and upon learning he was premiering a brand new track from his New York City band – their first since 2013’s Comedown Machine – via SiriusXM – that nauseous excitement was churning.  The time of 3pm GMT was set.  Casablancus’ voice croked to life and ‘OBLIVIOUS’ was aired.  The world stood still, yet the disappointment in stomach’s dropped.

It’s just not what we wanted was it?  We wanted a crescendo, a whirlwind ride of electric guitars storming their way through the track, breathing air back into The Strokes.  We wanted a new lease of life and a song which would drop our jaws and grasp at our pockets to physically pay ourselves into Strokes UK shows that currently do not exist.  We wanted and we needed the next chapter.  What we got however, was a track just shy of five-minutes of simplicity.

There’s nothing new about ‘OBLIVIOUS’.  We’ve got the distorted vocals of Casablancus overlapping repetitive guitar riffs, cut up with a screeching electric guitar solo, followed by an instrumental, followed by a warble.  ‘OBLIVIOUS’ isn’t exactly a genius track, stretching The Strokes to their limit, is it?  The track ends abruptly and sadly, we’re kind of thankful the train has met its station.  There’s no risk, no material to boost our enthusiasm and basically, we’re left with the statement “it’s a grower”.

We said The Vaccines’ second record was ‘a grower’ and we said The Stone Roses’ comeback track, ‘All For One’ was ‘a grower’…  But we can’t kid ourselves about this Strokes new one.  A glimmer of hope has been tarnished but still, they’ll be mint when they play ‘You Only Live Once’ and ‘Someday’ live.

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