Rough Trade Records – 2001 – 36 minutes
Over hyped and now over here, the Strokes burst out of the New York scene and, on the basis of their debut 3-song 'The Modern Age' released in January, became one of the most talked-up new bands this year.
A short, blistering set in the Temple Bar Music Centre in June and the release of their second single, 'Hard To Explain' only served to increase the frenzy until it looked like we'd be sick of their ubiquitous presence in the music press and style sheets ever before the release of the album. Photo friendly – after all, lead singer Julian Casablancas' father owns a model agency and none of the five band members are any slouch in the style stakes – and with a cooler than cool attitude, The Strokes are every publicists wet dream.
And then there's the music: simple melodies, clean guitar lines, tight testosterone-fuelled rhythm and throwaway vocals delivered with a sashay and a sneer by Casablancas. With lots of flash and very little substance, The Strokes aren't the saviours of rock and roll that they've been proclaimed to be but 'Is This It?' is still damn good sleazy fun.
Tracklisting: Is This It - Modern Age - Soma - Barely Legal - Someday - Alone Together - Last Night - Hard To Explain - New York City Cops - Trying Your Luck - Take It Or Leave It