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The Strokes 100

@TheStrokes

About The Strokes

The Strokes burst onto the scene at a time when rock fans were desperate for an alternative to the rap-rock that was dominating the airwaves. That the band lived up to expectations after being hailed the saviors of guitar rock off the strength of a three song EP is a testament to the quality of their flawless debut Is This It.

The Strokes are a band that truly relies on the strength of the entire group – lead guitarist Nick Valensi, drummer Fabrizio Moretti, guitarist Albert Hammond, and bass guitarist Nikolai Fraiture. The band attributes much of their success to every member of the group attaining their own notoriety. But the direction of much of The Strokes' output has been influenced by the domineering vision of one man: lead singer Julian Casablancas.

Before he took a small step back on their third album First Impressions of Earth and then isolated himself to record Angles, Casablancas was involved in almost every step of The Strokes' recording process. He wrote all of the lyrics and the music on their first two albums and was constantly involved in the mixing of the records.

While The Strokes have a reputation as a group who started to fizzle out after a knock out debut, the real story is one of evolution and reinvention. After their follow up to Is This It, Room on Fire, was generally praised for the band’s technical improvements but treated as an imitation of their debut, the band pushed in a new direction on each of their following releases. First Impressions of Earth and Angles isolated some of the darkness and light, respectively, that coexisted on the first two records. Comedown Machine retained the desperate energy of the group’s earlier days but contained more chilled out music. Even the group’s messy 4 song EP Future Present Past showed a group that would rather make big, bold shifts in sound than recycle the music that endeared them to so many.