The Strokes, Modern Age

Yancey Strickler

By Yancey Strickler

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Modern Age (US Version)

The Strokes
Hear why the hype began…

Their very first recording, The Modern Age EP is the Strokes in utero, before the expectations that would soon be heaped upon them, cocky in a sweetly naïve way. "Last Night" would become their first hit, and here it's skeletal and alive, sounding like some nebulous, punked-up combination of skiffle and Dixieland (not in terms of sound, but approach — the way the rapid guitar downstrokes and bouncy rhythm banter with one another). "Barely Legal" is cool, calm and collected, singer Julian Casablanacas 'voice sporting a sneer like his boy Mick Jagger once had. The title track is exhilarating — Nick Valensi's guitar comes in with a staccato counterpoint, snapping the song into three dimensions; Fab Moretti's drums slap like hands on a tabletop, switching from regular- to double-time seemingly on a whim; and that chorus, restrained but explosive, offering complete and cathartic release. If only they really had been rock & roll's future.