Sounds: “Darkness” reveals different Strokes

Jennifer Suh

The Strokes are preparing to release “Angles,” one of the most anticipated albums of the year. The New York-based indie band released the album’s first single, “Under Cover of Darkness,” as a free download track for 48 hours for subscribers on February 11. The single was their first new song since the release of their third album, “First Impression of Earth” in 2006, and their most recent album was delayed by lead guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.’s check-in to rehab.

“Under Cover of Darkness” begins with brave guitar riffs that potentially challenge the limits and at first sounds lopsided and dissonant. But the atypical opening makes the track fresh and unique. After Hammond Jr.’s guitar intro, the song kicks right back into a Strokes-styled, upbeat, melodious indie-track. As always, frontman Julian Casablancas’ voice sounds deep yet tremulous and reflects his nonchalant attitude. However, his vocals were recorded separately, a fact that was criticized by many fans online. Contrary to many listeners’ opinions, it’s too early to judge this single by its atypical opening.

Similar to previous Strokes hits like “You Only Live Once,” “Last Nite” and “Someday, ” Fabiano Moretti’s drum is steady and solid, blending perfectly with intricate and harmonious melody. As usual, the lyrics are incredibly unstructured, but the main message is encompassed in the line, “Don’t go that way / I’ll wait for you.” Despite the similarities, distinctive guitar riffs and solo make this track unique.

As a follow up to the single’s release, the Strokes’ official website has made new announcements almost every other day. After releasing the single, they shared the artwork for their upcoming album, and Casablancas announced on his website on Feb.16 that the band shot the video for “Darkness.” The next day, they gave fans another 48-hour opportunity – this time, to pre-order their new album for only $7.99. Moreover, they also confirmed the release of the track “You’re So Right” as the B-Side for the 7″ of their first single LP to be released on March 1.

Other than their “Saturday Night Live” appearance on March 5, only a few U.S. tour dates are confirmed, including a show at Madison Square Garden on April 1. Ticket sales for the show begin on Friday, Feb. 25, and the album will be released on March 22.

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