STROKES THE-COMEDOWN MACHINE 12inch
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This isn’t so much of a revelation as it the culmination of what’s been happening ever since First Impressions of Earth. They got one classic album and another great one exhausting a sound that evoked decades of New York squalor chic through indestructible songs and contradictory images: garages where Orange amps are parked next to Benzes, a trust-funder’s highrise apartment lousy with beer cans and leather jackets, dive bars frequented by models and rock stars. Everything since has taken cues from styles more associated with parents’ basements, musty vinyl shops, and convention centers: dinky synth-pop, surf rock, prog and the weird science of countless 1980s New Wave bands. This flipping of the script can actually be seen as a canny move, recasting the Strokes as lovable underdogs: where they once defined effortless cool, the deeply uncool Comedown Machine smacks of effort.