In 2001, the Strokes were going to save rock 'n' roll. In 2011, let's hope they can save Coachella with some new material.
Blame the Strokes for indie dance clubs, the way people dress at indie dance clubs, and the nightlife photographer, but the debut album, Is This It, is still very good -- as is the follow-up, Room on Fire. Both are perfectly crafted with amazing guitar work, lyrics, and melodies. First Impressions of Earth, which came out five years ago, continued the Strokes' tradition of sly lyrics and understated delivery, but the big difference is its explosive guitar work. Seriously, the handsome boys can shred. (See embedded live performance of "Vision of Division" and taste the Hott Lixx.)
Now, the Strokes have announced the track listing and release date for their next album, Angles. It's coming out March 22, and we'd like to offer our scientific guesstimate as to how each of the new tracks is going to go down.
The title evokes Peruvian tribal glory; don't expect tribal drum beats or Inca chanting. We expect it to start with just bass and singing while the rest of the music fades in. The song will be about the places a guy used to take his best girl, but now the places are gone. You could still kind of make out where the original doors were, you know, where the couple shared their first cigarette, but now, it's just a roast beefery.
"Under Cover of Darkness"
This will be the first single off the album. We're guessing it's gonna sound like a cross between the Pixies and Chuck Berry as interpreted by the Strokes. The song will be about how it's gonna be when we are all forced to live underground. First, it'll be scary; then the song's protagonist will fall in love; then he'll catch his underground lover doing some undercover loving behind his back.
"Two Kinds of Happiness"
This song will start with what sounds like a Casio drum machine and Yamaha keyboard melody; it will actually be real drums and guitar that sound that way due to innovative microphone placement and supercool effects pedals. Lyrically, it will revolve around how Casablancas' ex-lover is happy only when she's right or when he is wrong.
"You're So Right"
This song will blend in perfectly with "Two Kinds of Happiness." When played in order, it'll sound like it's a different part of the same song. In a hushed, desperate tone, Casablancas will mutter the words "You're so right" for the duration of the track, as the band keeps playing the same phrase for two minutes.
"Taken for a Fool"
Built around a Motown bassline, they'll explore their soulful side: Wilson Pickett vocal delivery and lots of whole chords on the guitars. There will be a dubstep remix shortly after the album is released.
We imagine that the band got their hands on some classical instruments on this one. Mandolins, harpsichords, and oboes galore. Instead of a drumbeat, handclaps. The lyrics will be jumbled and seem to be non sequiturs, but really the whole thing is a puzzle for the listener to solve, like Boggle or Angry Birds.
"Call Me Back"
We guess this one will be two chords, a simple drumbeat, and a bass line that syncs in perfectly with the vocals. Lyrics will tell the story of a guy who is afraid to enter the subway platform; he doesn't wanna lose signal, and someone important (drug dealer? friend? lover?) is supposed to call him back.
Since we've come to expect that the song titles give no indication of the musical style of the song, imagine how surprised we'll be when this song comes on. It'll be the Strokes' version of the Rolling Stones "Satisfaction" riff with some Latin percussion thrown in. This song is about how they only like free things. Free things are the best. Something like, "Your car cost how much? Wow... my Datsun was for free."
We hope this song has a reversed kick drum, like the Beastie Boys' "Paul Revere." It'll have a disco bass line and typical Strokes dueling guitars. The song's lyrics about how some people are just born with good metabolism will be a metaphor about how some people are just born into money.
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"Life Is Simple in the Moonlight"
This one should start off with a really dull-sounding acoustic guitar and Casablanca's vocals. He'll tell the story of a lost wallet, a dead cell phone, and a guy wandering the streets at night. At the three-minute mark, a blazing Slayer-type guitar solo will take over the track. The song will go on shredding and evolving for eight more minutes.