By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
It’s not that referencing other bands, shoplifting lyrics or even committing grand-theft song is a crime in itself. Manilow reworked “Mandy” from a minor hit called “Brandy” by Scott English, for the love of the Dutch, and bands like Green Day and early Oasis can make plagiarism a creative exploration in rock desire and an expression of, yes, love of music. But with the Strokes, it plays smug and superior, the kind of superiority that comes from a low sense of self-worth and a fear of being exposed. When JC cops to stealing songs in “Electricityscape,” he acts like it’s a compliment, but it sounds like sour grapes.
So you keep thinking, and you start to be amazed by how low your — and everybody’s — expectations, requirements, demands are for an album by a band who are supposed to be one of the key forces of the day. We expect almost nothing, and they deliver. Their new album is not very good, though not that bad either, in that Strokes way. You stop for a second and remember, the main thing about the Strokes wasn’t how great they were, but that you were glad they existed, and happy for their importance.
Limited or not, they were still the thing that killed Limp Bizkit, and helped usher in our new modern era of real rock & roll that we all love, yeah? Except the more you think about it, you wonder just how much of the post-Strokes era is a phony improvement. Just because everything right before it extra-sucked doesn’t mean that this is good.
You wanted to believe it, wanted this to be a good thing. You did your part. You bought that Vines record, didn’t you? That one that was $6.99 new, but only had that one good song, and now you forgot how it goes. You kinda forgot the Vines even existed until I just reminded you, huh? Kinda forgot the Strokes existed, too, until you heard they had a new album coming out, huh? Still glad they exist, though. Their record’s all right. Wanna borrow it?