[21] The Strokes, ‘The Modern Age EP’

The Modern Age

This is what we wrote in 2008 [I’ve not come up with any new Strokes thoughts since, unsurprisingly]:

There was such a quaint furore about The Strokes those long seven years ago, loud voices on either side. Were they singlehandedly saving rawk? Were they arch-copyists, not an original note in their scuffy Converse? Did any of it really matter? Well, yes and no. A bit of debate keeps pop lively, but would the naysayers have been so quick to swipe if they’d known the day would come when every band and its wife would be ripping off The Libertines, and not the rather more plunderable Talking Heads, Velvet Underground, Blondie, you-name-a-cool-NYC-trailblazer? The answer’s no.

Anyway, what Julian Casablancas and rich kid friends had in bags were tunes. On first listen, I thought ‘The Modern Age’ was The Velvet Underground – that’ll be Casablancas’ Lou Reed drawl – still it was a catchy little effort from the off. Studiedly cool, yep, but nevertheless, er, cool. ‘Last Nite’ was a white boy’s Motown pastiche even more authentic than Phil Collins’ flail at ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’.

But we don’t want them to get too chipper. Junior and I did the arm-pumping ‘Tiger Feet’ dance, one ‘70s influence The Strokes possibly wouldn’t want to snatch. Saying that, let’s see what the fourth album brings.

Back to 2010:

Junior says: Well, not a lot. She doesn’t have any fresh observations either. But she does teach her little sister how to play air guitar and together they fight an Aircaster duel.

Best bit: When Casablancas turns on the loudhailer.

[3] Franz Ferdinand, ‘Take Me Out’

Franz Ferdinand

A tremendous, not-so-inevitable skew on the new-new wave mania scorching the pop earth in the early Noughties, Franz Ferdinand swaggered in all-literate-like with Wiry rhythm and Blondie hit chops. That audacious aim to “get girls dancing” found full flower here in Junior’s neck-crick nodding in the back seat as the enormous riff kicked this song off proper.

Is there a more pleasing sight than two grown men throttling their guitars to synchronised steps? Alex Kapranos and Nick McCarthy were the new Rossi and Parfitt, the new Mud, the new Shadows – well-turned out gents who knew the value of fancy footwork, the limitations of rock shapes. If ‘Take Me Out’ – the tripartite axe-slinging beauty – could get them skipping in time, the girls would be a cert.