Hype has surrounded The Strokes ever since they released their debut e.p ‘The Modern Age’ via the English Rough Trade record label. In fairness to the band and not wishing to do them a disservice, media gurus, record labels and managers alike have created the cocoon of money making publicity that has become the standard in today’s world of entertainment. This gushing attitude to the band-their debut album ‘Is This It’ was touted as the best rock record out of New York for a decade-contrasts sharply with the attitude of the band who have shunned the use of the video to promote singles and were recently quoted as saying “As soon as you think, I’m the fuckin man, I’m the shit, you’re are setting yourselves up for trouble”.
For a band who grew up listening to the likes of Pearl Jam and Nirvana alongside such 70’s punk luminaries as The Ramones, Blondie and Talking Heads, The Strokes music offers very little of the promised land, lacking both variety and any true musicianship. The running time of ‘Room on Fire’ of 36 minutes and 30 seconds outdoes its predecessor my 3 minutes and by today’s standards does not offer value for money-the band themselves have gone on record as saying that they find recording a painful experience- and fails to justify the lengthy 2 year hiatus between albums. However ‘Room on Fire’ does have it’s moments in the shape of the incessant ‘12:51’ or the distorted harmonics of ‘Reptilia’ but the highlights are few and far between on an album that possesses far too much filler. Ok! A montage of influences can be heard permeating their records, but the amalgamation of these and all the aforementioned bands is neither wholeheartedly exciting nor groundbreaking. Putting them on a pedestal and hailing them, as a terrestrial savior is as disrespectful to the band as it is to the many who believe what they are told rather than what they hear in the music for themselves.