New York indie favourites b>The Strokes are one of the bands that jumped the noughties indie bandwagon, and have been successfully (more or less) riding it ever since while most of their peers keep slowly perishing into oblivion. Although none of band’s later albums have repeated the success of their debut ‘Is This It’, they’ve somehow acquired (and kept) the ‘indie classic’ status as well as a fanbase which mostly consists of two kinds of people – ones who love everything Julian Casablancas does, and others who persistently keep declaring that The Strokes should go back to their early sound.
‘Future Present Past’ is the first piece of fresh music since the band’s 2013 LP, ‘Comedown Machine’. The EP is a 3-track (and a remix) long journey into desensitized pop, sticky synths, and, as the title suggests, also through the band’s musical history. They start off diving headfirst into ‘Drag Queen’, which sounds quite a lot like Casablancas‘ side-project Voidz, and mixes detached pop with new wave, and has Casablancas pointing his finger at the system, pondering the meaning (or meaninglessness) of it all.
This continues in the ‘Oblivious’, shifting into a lighter synthpop mood, but keeping the lyrical theme as the vocalist repeatedly asks “Which side are you standing on?”, just to fall back into ‘Threat Of Joy’, in what could be called a typical early era The Strokes song with a simple and upbeat drum beat, slightly repetitive riffs, and Casablancas trying to do his best Lou Reed impression while keeping up the bored indie boy appearance.
‘Future Present Past’ may not be the bold, triumphant comeback that we’ve all been waiting for, but it’s an interesting recap on what the band have done previously, and could be a vague preview of what’s to come next. It proves that The Strokes keep evolving and exploring, and it sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t work in their favour, but at least they still have plenty of ideas.
Written by Raimonda Mikelsone (@_raimondaaa)