Travel Check interview/review


If I had to choose an area to specialise in, I’d pick blues and rock & roll, which basically covers bluegrass, rockabilly, and acid rock a là Hendrix and Doors. I’d not mind jazz, but it may be a bit of a stretch. I just love the way it delivers its message, and talks to its audience. Its little grandson, the black sheep of the family, is probably the “garage” rock and blues, which blends in acid, psychedelic mantra and rough spoken word. Continue reading

If you Were…Peter of Hymns

Hymns, or †HYMNS†, is a two-piece Rock band based around the Midlands. The duo, composed by ex-Blakfish Samuel Manwille and Peter Reisner make some classical-influenced garage rock, as the debut album ‘Contrary Virtues’ exemplifies (out via Big Scary Monsters and Function Records). You can get the free track ‘Miracles’ via Hymns’ bandcamp.

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The Strokes: Angles

 The Strokes


Sony Music (2011)

There is little to say, This is It reinvented the concept of rock, revitalizing the longest-lasting genre of the last century: plenty of vintage rock, some neurotic rhythms, sharp guitars and explosive riffs. Plagiarism or not, The Strokes created a seminal album in its own way managed to kick off the invasion of rock revivalism that swept the garage first and then all the knowledge of the music decades before the 2000s. After the tantrums among members and First Impressions of Heart, an album which lost the kick of its predecessor, but was still able to retain the unmistakable sound of the quintet. Five years later, when everyone had lost hope, the Strokes are back with Angles. After years of disputes, misunderstandings and gossip, the group back together, although we must acknowledge that Angles was recorded separately, with Julian Casablancas recording the vocals on his own, after the rest of the band had done their instrumental duty.

Angles is a mix of pop rock, the sound of the ‘80s and artistic rock, accompanied by the unmistakable voice of Casablancas. A drum machine and a pinch of synth for Games, which reminds me of the electro-pop which came back in fashion in recent months. Same approach in the intro of Life is Simple in the Moonlight, while the sound moves toward the pop groove of the futurist Two Kinds of Happiness and the lack of drums in the psychedelic Call Me Back. Despite everything, the typical sound of the Strokes, the one that gained a following, is in back in the powerful single Undercover of Darkness or the opener Machu Picchu, spiced with some unexpected reggae.

The Strokes came back with the sound that shaped their music and began the garage-revival, adding some spices: electro devices, falsetto and krautrock. Even if nothing can match This is It, I propose a toast to the return of the Strokes, and I sincerely hope that you will do the same.