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Is This It? album cover ||| the strokes: is this it? |||
[Rough Trade]

The music press love them. In fact, all media seem to love them. The Strokes are the new darlings of rock 'n' roll culture, praised for cool retro subversion and bringing guitar music back to the kids. As if the kids ever really let go, as if guitars ever fell from grace… Purveyors of such blatantly ignorant assessment of New York's current finest reveal themselves to have been firmly fixated on the shit disco-pap post-Stock Aitken Waterman mainstream for far too long.

Quick to cast The Strokes as jumping on some kind of retro bandwagon, these critics are themselves jumping on board a phenomenon that just happens to have broken through to the mainstream. So they cite The Stones, The Doors or any other guitar band they may have accidentally become aware of in between endless rewrites of Britney's presumed brilliance. Yeah, yeah, like The Strokes really give a fuck about Oasis or any other misplaced predecessors. This is pure New York rock 'n' roll. So for lineage read Richard Hell, read Television, listen to The Heartbreakers or the New York Dolls. Pastiche? Come on… it only sounds retro because its not synthesised, new because they aren't familiar ex-soap stars trying to make a fast buck.

They're a damn exciting band, it's a hell of an exciting album, and its just a surprise that they aren't languishing in indie pop backwaters like most other folks who chuck out kick-ass rock for little reward. Highlights? Its all a great, brash, arrogant occupation of 36 minutes which gives you plenty of time to listen to the rest of the CBGB's deviants in your possession. Unless you just wanna spin it again.

No-Neck Blues Band

 Hong Chulki, Choi Joonyong and Jung Eunju at RELAY 04, 2005

||| currently listening to |||
  • William S. Burroughs - The Instrument of Control [Archivio Letterario]
  • Miles Davis - In A Silent Way [Columbia]
  • Bill Dixon - In Italy [Soul Note]
  • Will Gaines & Derek Bailey - Rappin & Tappin [Incus]
  • Guided By Voices - Alien Lanes [Matador]
  • Choi Joonyong - White Disc Ver.2 [Balloon & Needle]
  • Merzbow - Eucalypse [Soleilmoon]
  • Taku Sugimoto & Annette Krebs - Eine gitarre ist eine guitarre... [Rossbin]
  • Ryu Hankil, Jin Sangtae, Choi Joonyong - 5 Modules I [Manual]
  • Choi Joonyong, Hong Chulki, Sachiko M, Otomo Yoshihide - Sweet Cuts, Distant Curves [Balloon & Needle]
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