As the release date draws closer the reviews are coming in, we have had both Q and Uncut and nowÂ Brent DiCrescenzo over at Time Out Chicago has not only reviewed it by done a very interesting track by track. I feel like unlike the NME one from last month there is much more depth toÂ DiCrescenzo’s.
I’ve quoted some of the points I foundÂ interesting (leaving out the two songs we already know), you can read the entire review here, it’s worth it.
Time Out Chicago ‘Comedown Machine’ track-by-track
“They found our city under the water / Had to get our hands on something new”Â â€”opening line fromÂ Comedown Machine
Quickly it slips into a Michael Jackson groove, breezy funk built from palm mutes, chorus pedals and cocaine solos. A relaxed Casablancas sings in airy high notes: â€œDrifting / You donâ€™t want to know whatâ€™s going down.â€ The band has never sounded so mellow, and that mood carries through half the tracks….
â€œWelcome to Japanâ€
Itâ€™s just a blast. The most overlooked trait of Casablancas is his sense of humor…Â Especially when he proclaims, â€œOh, welcome to Japan!â€ before comically crooning, â€œSuper dance-y funk down.â€ Or something. As destined as â€œI didnâ€™t really know this / What kind of asshole drives a Lotusâ€ is to become the most quoted line, the subsequent quasi-rapped chorus tops it: â€œCome on, come on, get with me / I want to see you Wednesday / Come on, come on, come over / Take it off your shoulder / Come on and call me over / Weâ€™ve got to get to work now / Sliding it off your shoulder / As weâ€™re falling over.â€
â€œâ€™80s Comedown Machineâ€Â
Sounding somewhat akin to a Nintendo cartridge playing â€œChariots of Fireâ€ and â€œLucy in the Sky with Diamonds.â€ Casablancas faintly floats over the lulling mellotron loops. â€œWhy donâ€™t you close the blinds / for the night?â€ he gently pleads.
With a â€œRusty Cageâ€ (Soundgarden song) riff, this tense and sneering punker sees Julian pulling out his beat-to-shitÂ Is This ItÂ microphone from a dusty box in his closet and snarling with a ferocity not heard since â€œReptilia.â€ Also, if you listen closely, you can hear the singer say in the background, â€œâ€¦the record for the worst foul shot, in the history of the playoffs.â€ Because why not.
The calmly cruising â€œAnimalsâ€ in particular picks up from â€œLife Is Simple in the Moonlightâ€ and â€œTwo Kinds of Happiness,â€ fleshing out the concepts and polishing off the rough edges…Â Staccato, muted guitar, oscillating synthesizer and the most curiously hushed guitar solo in their history slowly crescendo. But donâ€™t worry, a screeching solo follows a verse later. The guys collapse into laughter at the close, underlining their apparent rediscovered camaraderie.
â€œPartners in Crimeâ€Â
Silly, bumblebee-buzzing hammer-ons from Nick Valensi, much like the albumâ€™s opening salvo, both mock classic rock and embrace its pleasurable ridiculousness…. â€œLeave all your tears alone / Run down your face,â€ Casablancas croons before coolly stating â€œIâ€™m on the guest listâ€ with winking sarcasm. Like â€œ50/50,â€ part of the half of the album (ah, that title begins to make more sense) that could arguably fit onÂ Room on Fireâ€¦
â€¦unlike this here slow dance. .. This bound-to-be-polarizing oneâ€™s dedicated to all those crushinâ€™ hard out there. A synth-heavy couple-skate oozing John Hughesian longing. â€œI waited for ya / I waited on ya / but now I donâ€™t,â€ Casablancas sings in castrato-high falsetto in the shimmering disco lights. The most romantic ballad in their catalogue.
Next to â€œWelcome to Japan,â€ the track most likely to dazzle the fans hungry for the Strokes to reclaim the impassioned energy of the early era. …”Happy Endingsâ€ recycles the tick-tock guitars and sci-fi elements of â€œMacho Picchu,â€ adds a pinch ofÂ Room on Fireâ€™s soul and ends with something wonderfully electrifying. …Comedown MachineÂ is the sound of a group invigorated, collaborating. With a loaded title, â€œEndingsâ€ would dazzle live. If they toured.
â€œCall It Fate, Call It Karmaâ€Â
Dropping the curtain with the ultimate curve ball, â€œFateâ€ crackles like phonogram recording of a calliope playing Cuban rumba…. â€œClose the door, not all the way,â€ Casablanca quietly sings. â€œPlease understand / We donâ€™t understand.â€ In the chorus, â€œI waited aroundâ€¦â€ .. he hits his highest notes yet, up the range of Frankie Valli or a Beach Boy
AnotherÂ positiveÂ review was posted yesterday by Contact Music with a choice line about 50/50 “aÂ bloodthirsty audio assault that will undoubtedly have its lead riff imitated endlessly and is the perfect backing to Casablancas’ rip-roaring delivery”
Stay tuned for more reviews in the next fortnight.