By Sarah Ward
“I’m testing your patience”, is the most appropriate statement to open The Strokes‘ long anticipated fourth album, Angles. The long and gruelling five year wait for the album was certainly a test of patience for the huge fan base of the forever ‘cooler than you’, old school, indie rock band. The Strokes are one of the many popular names among the Arctic Monkeys, Muse and The Black Keys that have brought modern music back to the origins of rock and the essence of the likes of Pink Floyd, The Who and the Ramones. Angles shows a little more experimentation with the more current indie-punk rock tune which has resulted in get up and f*** stuff up (in a good way and in the spirit of rock ‘n roll, of course.) kind of tracks such as Taken for a Fool which is guaranteed to have even your grandmother throwing out some head nods and butt shakes.
Despite The Strokes being an example of a timeless musical brilliance, many critics had a lot of negative feed back on the album. Despite the obvious complaint about the amount of time it took for the album to be released, critics such as The Guardian‘s Alex Petridis comment on how the band seem to have recorded this album with “resentment” which can be supported by the lyrics of the tracks on Angles.
Behind the catchy, smooth and feel good tunes, the lyrics do show a sense of resentment however I would not necessarily say towards the album and their music, but rather the wayward society that we all belong to. An almost existential angst is evident as lead singer Julian Casablancas sings “living in an empty world” in the track Games, while Taken for a Fool comments on the ignorance and self centred nature of society as people just work and consume and don’t show concern for anything going on outside their own lives. There is an undeniable pattern throughout the album that exploits the stupidity of the human race.
Angles is an album that shows pure artistry. Whether some critics may see some of the tracks as failures in comparison to their first albums, The Strokes have a weird and wonderful way of expression with words and sounds that when fused together become beautifully unique, and what many rock and indie lovers would call a masterpiece. With the next album, The Strokes V on the way, there is no doubt that these five talented artists will ‘rock on’!