January 26, 2013

Song Review: The Strokes' "One Way Trigger"

It's quite surprising how well the Strokes continue to ride the critical wave based on the success of their classic 2001 debut Is This It?, its solid but more-of-the-same sophomore follow-up and then a string of lukewarm to disappointing forgettables over the past decade, leading AS to wonder why the music world continues to care about what the 2001 buzz culture trendsetters are doing for us in 2013 in the same way we still give a band like Weezer their umpteenth chance in hopes of a return to form. Despite the quintet's ambiguous future stymied by reports of fractured creative differences over the years, NYC's "coolest" band might be back with a new album this year, or at the very least a new song and / or single (perhaps a Record Store Day exclusive?) with "One Way Trigger" being the only known detail so far. The track at best offers some resolve to our questionable fascination as to why these once-gilden alt-rock kingpins continue to matter by catching our ears off guard with a song that sounds blatantly disconnected from their new wavy garage rock punch,  instead channeling more expertise from Julian Casablancas' solo outing as a synth pop revisionist. Casablancas' testosterone-bassed howl even sees a makeover as he shakes out each verse and chorus in a sexy falsetto fashion, with the only constant being Albert Hammond, Jr.'s signature neon guitars there to remind us that this is indeed a Strokes song. The Strokes still aren't close to breaking new ground again with this return, but if anything, the music world continues to hang their black leather coats and All-Stars on top of the alt-rock pedestal because songs like "One Way Trigger" fire back at us with an effort to surprise.

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