The Strokes

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About The Strokes

The Strokes became the toast of New York in the early ’00s by putting a modern spin on other Big Apple musical eras—specifically the late-’60s counterculture that spawned the Velvet Underground, and the fertile ’70s scene when leather-clad punk bands roared through CBGB. Early singles “Last Nite” and “Someday” paired vocalist Julian Casablancas’ distorted croon with pogo-ready backdrops—wiry basslines, propulsive drums and a gritty twin-guitar attack—and devil-may-care lyrics about youthful ennui. The Strokes came by their musical approach honestly: four members of the band started playing together before leaving school; guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. joined the group in the late ’90s after moving to New York for film school. The quintet quickly found their groove, with both their 2001 debut, Is This It, and the 2003 follow-up, Room On Fire, favouring concise, straightforward rock songs with plenty of buoyancy and bite. Smartly, The Strokes continued to build on this bare-bones sonic template on subsequent albums, adding buzzy synthesisers and post-punk guitar heft, and penning lyrics that grapple with the comedown from a night-owl lifestyle. All the while, the band never lost their aura of effortless New York sophistication, infusing records such as 2020’s The New Abnormal with old-school attitude and a fresh, modern sound.

New York, NY, United States

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