The acclaim that follows The Strokes’ monster debut LP Is This It really is previous hat at this level. With 20 years of separation and a whole bunch of indie bands which have adopted in its wake, there aren’t any descriptors left to throw onto the band’s first album: masterstroke, work of genius, massively influential, yadda yadda yadda.
The album grew to become so in style in such a brief period of time that it additionally shortly grew to become the albatross that hung across the band’s collective necks. A fast return to the studio tried to seize the magic that was nonetheless surrounding the band of their early years. The follow-up, Room On Hearth, options much less of a lo-fi sound and a extra full embrace of the twin-guitar dynamic between Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond, Jr.
There’s a small however vocal contingent of followers and critics preferring the extra refined sounds of Room on Hearth. That group appears to be led by none aside from Julian Casablancas himself. Whereas being interviewed by Rolling Stone in 2014, Casablancas defined the connection between the 2 albums and why he prefers the sounds on Room on Hearth.
“I needed to complete the Is This It? thought; even after we have been doing it, I at all times thought it was half two [of Is This It],” Casablancas shared. “I bear in mind after we began ‘Reptilia’ and ‘The Finish Has No Finish,’ I used to be like, ‘That is the brand new vibe.’ I believe we at all times felt like we have been in jeopardy. After we did Room on Hearth, issues have been established, however issues have been internally, at the very least from my perspective, not wholesome.”
That final half was fairly straightforward to see from the surface: Casablancas discusses his personal excessive alcohol use all through the early years of The Strokes within the Rolling Stone characteristic. Different band members have been combating their very own addictions as nicely, compounded by expectations and hype that surrounded the band at each flip. With nowhere to go however down, The Strokes opted to struggle the established sound that had made them stars.
As of late, The Strokes don’t should actively struggle towards Is This It anymore. With the success of 2020’s The New Irregular, a brand new chapter has begun for America’s premier kings of indie rock. Is This Is isn’t the ball and chain that it was once, however for individuals who have been closest to it over the previous twenty years, perhaps it’s time to take a be aware from Casablancas and pledge allegiance to the band’s second masterpiece, Room on Hearth.