The Strokes are arguably the most influential band of my generation. When the five-piece dropped their first demos in early 2001, the world collectively crapped their pants. And the obsession only grew from there.
The Strokes released Is This It, a masterful 40 minutes of rock, later that year. The album sounds like the culmination of five kids practicing all day, every day—and that’s essentially what it is. Front to back, there are few records that simply play as well as this one does. Everything about it, from the hooks to the drums to the vocals, sounds effortlessly done. Forget best debuts of all time, this is one of the best albums of all time.
Of course, The Strokes were then improperly heralded as the saviors of rock ‘n’ roll and everything has sort of collapsed around them since. Their follow up, Room on Fire, is a fantastic record. But sometimes hype can wash out everything else, and everything the band has released since has seemed, well, washed out.
Here are a few you just might like.
The Walkmen are another band that hails from New York, though they haven’t lived there in nearly half a decade. Their brand of rock comes packaged with a little more angst and regret than The Strokes, but they share a fan base all the same. Unlike The Strokes, The Walkmen have aged with grace. And though they’ve been on a hiatus since last year, their discography is as large as it is rich. I consider Bows + Arrows to be their best record, but if you’re looking for a more light-hearted listen, Lisbon is great too.
Parquet Courts are a New York band by way of Texas, but they’ve adapted to the city’s culture quickly and quite well. Their breakthrough came when their second album, Light Up Gold, was re-released in 2012. I like to think of the charming, scrappy record as an early booze-induced practice session The Strokes may have had for Is This It.
Okay, okay, so this one’s kind of a cop out. Yes, Julian Casablancas is the lead singer of The Strokes, but his first solo venture, Phrazes for the Young, has a lot of never-before-seen Strokes-ian elements. The record gets clunky in its backhalf, but is an enjoyable listen nonetheless.
Andrew is a communications intern at Murfie. When he’s not blogging here, you can probably find him blogging at a handful of other music sites. And when he’s not blogging at all, you can probably find him curled up with a good beer and a great book.