“Everybody’s been singing the same song for ten years.” Well it’s actually 12 years now Julian and, luckily for you, people may have finally found a brand new song to sing. Besides a daft pair of sunglasses and shiny new leather jacket, Julian Casablancas has discovered a glorious combination of synth and falsetto that only comes from finally peeling off his obsession with Velvet Underground and moving on a decade or two to the sounds of A-ha and ‘Take on Me’. To those who gritted their teeth and endured the sporadically painful Angles or the conversely curious ‘Phrazes for the Young’, the fact that The Strokes embraced keyboards in their frankly Popcorn-esque intro on ‘One way trigger’ – reminiscent of Axel F- is not hugely surprising, but it really works; just ask my sister, she caught me dancing to it.
As is always the case with Julian, there is much deliberation as to what he’s in fact trying to say. This problem is made greater this time by his sweet rich-kid falsetto. The first line could be either “Get dressed in your bed / all seems the same” or the seemingly more popular “Interesting up there / all seems so safe”. For the purpose of self-interest, I gladly accept the former in favour of calling him up to ask and consequently disappointing myself, because I enjoy the unmissable comparison with the lyric from their comeback single ‘get dressed, jump out of bed/ you do it best” that broke their 5 year hiatus and arguably had a greater point to prove. This time around there’s no urgency, there’s no point to prove, there’s no pretentious ‘Venison’ pseudonyms here, despite Its bizarre synth backing, ‘One way trigger’ is classic, reptilia-n Strokes swagger and If you’re still unsure about Julian’s falsetto, rest assured his baritone croon in the pre-chorus “you asked me to stay / but there’s a million reasons to leave” and Nick Valensi’s snarling guitar solo will have you rattling your headphones with joy.
Ironically, The Strokes’ latest track ‘One way trigger’ might just be the smack in the face Julian has always wanted to give the critics who said ‘was that it?’ about their iconic 2001 debut album. Its nonchalance and effortlessness tell us that they just want to move on, they’ve taken their aspirins and their smoothies to cure Last Night’s interminable hangover and in 2013, they’re ready to hit us with some new songs to sing. Never thought I’d say this about the Strokes, but I really can’t wait to hear them.