The Strokes: Reviewing the classic throwback in new singles album


NB Bandera

On Feb. 24, 2023, The Strokes published their new throwback album: The Singles, Vol 1.

NB Bandera, Video Editor

The Strokes are an American rock band from New York City that has won awards for their popular mix of diversifying their music and adding in their classic signature of rock. Band members Julian Casablancas, Fabrizio Moretti, Albert Hammond Jr, Nick Valensi, and Nikolai Fraiture have been together since 1998 and have been known for inspiring other bands such as The Arctic Monkeys, The Killers, The Kooks, The Growlers, and so much more that made rock more popular. In 2020, they got noticed again on TikTok by one of their popular songs The Adults Are Talking in The New Abnormal album.

The Strokes didn’t come out with any new projects since The New Abnormal until on January 15, the band decided to release one song The Modern Age (Rough Trade Version) to let listeners get a sneak peek of the new album. Then on February 24, 2023, The Strokes released The Singles – Volume 01 in which they bring back their popular, classic songs from the 2000s. Including original, early stages of song recordings before they were published like rough trades and home recordings from their first three albums even on vinyl too.

The songs included are the following:

The Modern Age (Rough Trade Version)
Last Nite (Rough Trade Version – The Modern Age B-Side)
Hard to Explain
New York City Cops (Hard to Explain B-Side)
Last Nite
When It Started (Last Nite B-Side)
Alone, Together (Home Recording – Someday B-Side)
Is This It (Home Recording – Someday B-Side)
The Way It Is (Home Recording – 12:51 B-Side)
Modern Girls & Old Fashion Men (Reptilia B-Side) ft. Regina Spektor
The End Has No End
Clampdown (The End Has No End B-Side / Live at Alexandra Palace, London, UK – Dec. 5, 2003)
Hawaii (Juicebox B-Side)
Heart In a Cage
I’ll Try Anything Once (“You Only Live Once” demo) [Heart in a Cage B-Side]
You Only Live Once
Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) [You Only Live Once B-Side]

The songs came from albums such as Is This It (2001), Room On Fire (2003), and First Impressions of Earth (2006) of the early stages the studio.
Although the album contains some republished songs, its whole purpose is to bring back popular hits and even fan favorites to achieve that feeling of old rock. The Strokes brought back Hawaii (Juicebox B-Side), which wasn’t on music platforms for a couple of years without notice, but I’m glad they brought back a classic song fans loved. Including getting to hear rough trade versions of songs in their early stages of production in which lead singer Casablancas alters his lyrics.

One song in particular, Clampdown is a cover from The Clash that was sung by The Strokes back in 2004 in London as well as in 2016 again. What I really liked about The Strokes’ version of the cover was the various sounds between guitars, drums, and louder vocals than the Clash’s. I enjoyed the way The Strokes brought their style to a classic song from another popular old rock band.

I loved the demo of I’ll Try Anything Once that gave me a sentimental feeling, especially the connection to You Only Live Once. Both songs have different melodies and emotions contrasting with each other that I also love too. All demos like Last Nite, Alone Together, Is This It, and The Way It Is are more pleasing than the finalized songs because of the lyric differences and energy that comes from the demos.

Overall, the album gave such a good feeling of nostalgia thanks to The Strokes. I highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in rock and exploring the band that made it more popular as well.