Is This It? I first heard it at 16, as I sat in the back of a friend’s Peugeot 206, sheepishly holding the hand of a boy I liked. It was fun and exciting and effortlessly cool and despite how much NME magazine ‘strokes’ their bums *ahem, you can’t deny that album was a blistering success. Expectations to carry on the winning formula must have been enormous. What followed was the slightly-above-average Room On Fire and a third album which was so much of a miserable flop I’ve forgotten it’s name. I guess myself, along with half the world, was hoping the grungy New Yorkers would come back – after a FIVE YEAR HIATUS forging solo albums and forgettable side projects – stomping hard on their kick drum, screaming out jaunty guitar riffs and chanting epic chorus lines. Instead we get Angles.

A more collaborative effort then their previous 3 albums with every member contributing to the writing process, while Julian Casablancas just sent his vocals to the rest of the band digitally, makes for unsurprisingly disjointed and disappointing results.

Angles meanders painfully along with no strong connecting thread and even less ‘Strokiness’ to it, sounding like a badly put together mixtape of Kings Of Leon B-sides and a couple of binned Killers Day & Age demos. Some of the songs sound like they were put together in 5 minutes, not 5 years, with only Taken For A Fool, Games and closing track Life Is Simple In The Moonlight piquing interest, along with previously released single Under Cover Of Darkness. The real cringey low point of the album is off-timed Metabolism. I’m sure some will say this album’s a grower – and just maybe it is – but it makes me sad that either the Strokes seem to have lost it or can’t be bothered to get it back. Either way, yep, I guess this is it.

The Strokes – Taken For A Fool