The Strokes
First Impressions of Earth

Rough Trade
Reviewed by: Nick Southall
Reviewed on: 2006-01-03

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Posted 01/03/2006 - 09:30:42 AM by how2know924:
 though i understand what you mean, i would argue that the strokes have a handful of "genuinely affecting" songs in their catalog: "under control", "hard to explain", even "someday". i just think that julian cares an awful lot about not caring about anything...
Posted 01/03/2006 - 10:34:26 AM by bassman08:
 Hahahahahahaha I love how they're the intro to the site. Classic. But seriously, I was totally expecting this to blow. Harder than the big bad wolf in a hurricane. But now I've seen like 9 different reviews and it seems pretty evenly mixed...I'm going to go buy it today. I've been saving that Best Buy certificate since Christmas for this, so I'm glad it isn't THAT bad.
Posted 01/03/2006 - 10:37:43 AM by bassman08:
 Oh, and Nick, Albert plays a lot of the lead parts (like on "Reptilia," God I love that song) only he doesn't solo. I think Albert, aside from being the coolest Stroke, does a lot more than you are giving him credit for. Nikolai is the only one who basically doesn't exist.
Posted 01/03/2006 - 11:38:16 AM by lovezero:
 if all the songs were like "On The Other Side" or"juicebox" this would be album of the year or maybe of the decade. but they deserve the rating the pitchforkmedia and stylus gave...hey, guys.. get more nervous, fall in love or do something to regain your feelings to reflect.
Posted 01/03/2006 - 11:43:18 AM by lovezero:
 "juicebox" is a good replica of kinda terrorvision song but guitar riffs and rhytm at the ending part is excellent.
Posted 01/03/2006 - 11:47:00 AM by maxwellk:
 Nikolai Fraiture definitely DOES exist, and in fact he's my favorite stroke. The bassline on Is This It (the song) is my favorite little piece of any strokes song.
Posted 01/03/2006 - 01:29:19 PM by J_R_K_:
 this music is too self aware to be enjoyed by anyone.
Posted 01/03/2006 - 02:18:28 PM by idunnowhy:
 I'd still rather listen to these guys than Franz Ferdinand.
Posted 01/03/2006 - 02:42:00 PM by bassman08:
 maxwellk: I like Nikolai too, but I was listening to "Room On Fire" last night and there were like 3 songs where I could hear bass as a distinct entity fom the guitars (Reptilia, Meet Me In the Bathroom, I Can't Win). I know he's talented, I love "Is This It" and "Someday" and others, but I think that his talent is wasted in most songs (like "Between Love and Hate"). I'm hoping he shows up more on this one, I just got it and I need to listen to it.
Posted 01/03/2006 - 07:03:30 PM by bassman08:
 After 1 listen: I could do without the middle half (songs 6-9). Ifthey cut those ones out, this album would be a whole lot better. And "Heart In A Cage" is hands down the best song here.
Posted 01/04/2006 - 08:03:17 AM by raskolnikov:
 This band is pure crap. To fully express how much they suck would take more space than is available here. Crappy music, crappily played, and just so goddamn uninspired that it would almost be laughable if they didn't sell a lot of product and take up a lot of space in music rags. Anybody over the age of 15 who defends this band is a clown with absolutely no taste in music. This statement has been empirically proven in laboratory experiments.
Posted 01/04/2006 - 01:04:06 PM by dougrokakis:
 raskolnikov: One day you will have to accept the fact that not everybody beats off in their spare time to the music of Khanate and Jack Rose. My recommendation to you is to start another website with Pabanks and boilingboy and to call it "A Scenester, an Elitist, and a Pancake".
Posted 01/04/2006 - 01:22:01 PM by boilingboy:
 No, Dougie. You just beat of to the sound of your own empty life in your parents' basement....surrounded by your old baseball cards and Transformers.
Posted 01/04/2006 - 01:36:13 PM by raskolnikov:
 Dear Doug Rokakis--Wow, do I feel chastened. After your stern rebuke, I suddenly decided to like shitty music like the Strokes. I also decided to like shitty lying murderers like Bush and Blair. So I've rid myself of all convictions and principles, and I now find this world to be the best of all possible worlds. Thanks for clearing things up for me. I feel so much better now that I'm participating in bad, derivative, and mindless mass culture. Thinking hurts, after all. Acceptance is bliss.
Posted 01/04/2006 - 01:39:16 PM by spidey:
 !!!!!!!!!!! I'm trying to grasp how Stylus can claim, with a straight face, that this album is inferior to albums by Ashlee Simpson and Kelly Osborne. My brain hurts.
Posted 01/04/2006 - 01:59:20 PM by NickSouthall:
 spidey - because different writers reviewed each album; I don't particularly like Kelly Osbourne, Ashlee Simpson OR The Strokes, in the grand scheme of things.
Posted 01/04/2006 - 02:58:42 PM by Zarklephaser:
 First album to completely fall below my expectations in 2006, reminiscent of Trail of Dead last year. More like First Impressions of Ass.
Posted 01/04/2006 - 03:49:40 PM by dougrokakis:
 my life is far from empty boilingboy. I don't really see myself in 20 years dedicating myself to being an internet nuisance like yourself. raskolnikov: there's really nothing wrong with thinking about your music and this record is really pretty average, but I just find it funny that you even go to this site when more than half the time they are just going to review stuff you dislike. Why not go to instead? Hell even
Posted 01/04/2006 - 03:51:51 PM by dougrokakis:
 I apologize by the way for the site title. It should be"A Scenester, an Elitist, and a fat, bald, bitter, middle-aged Pancake".
Posted 01/04/2006 - 04:40:04 PM by spidey:
 Nick - I understand. My brain still hurts, though. But even though you don't care for the Strokes, your review of Campfire Headphase (Von is to Twoism as() is to Geogaddi, etc.) was spot-on.
Posted 01/04/2006 - 09:16:27 PM by bassman08:
 raskolnikov: Shut the fuck up. If you hate them that much, don't listen to them. No one is making you listen to this band or like them. We all acknowledge that The Stokes are an alright band that takes old riffs and makes them pretty rockin, and for the most part, pretty good. They're a fun band. If you don't have fun listening to the Strokes, there may be something wrong with you. However, no one is saying that they are the best band to ever walk the earth, much less one of the great innovators of the 21st century, so calm down and back off.
Posted 01/04/2006 - 11:54:53 PM by boilingboy:
 Dougie, I'm neither bald or fat....I'll send you a picture for your auto-erotic episodes. However, we do know you live with your parents, and spend hours a day on blogs. Funny thing is, I didn't even mention the Strokes. I just take issue with little pissants who insult people that don't like their favorite bands. Try coming up with an intelligent comment for once. Who do you think you are telling readers to find another site? Is this your little club? Find some friends(or a date)outside of the internet.
Posted 01/05/2006 - 01:29:42 AM by kriminal_01:
Posted 01/05/2006 - 01:54:27 AM by lodovico:
 hey big guy boiling boy, nice work man, nice research, how did you find out exactly who dougie lives with? that's fucken awesome, you're my go to guy whenever i need to establish a humiliating context for insulting people on the internet, try to find out if he beats off to gay porn as well man. Awesome, stay real bro.
Posted 01/05/2006 - 02:25:53 AM by dougrokakis:
 thanks for backing me up lodovico, but he actually is right. I did admit that I live with my parents right now, but I'm a college student and really have yet to have a reason to move out. However, Boilingboy is a middle-aged, bitter, fat man, I can almost guarantee it.
Posted 01/05/2006 - 07:03:09 AM by raskolnikov:
 Actually, I would posit this instead: anyone who likes the Strokes (or the Stokes, as bassman08 seems to like to call them) is a collaborator in the attempted murder of the human mind. Is hype in the music world really that different from propaganda in the political arena? It is not. Bad art, and the celebration thereof, is one of the hallmarks of an authoritarian society. So enjoy your musical saccharine, and let your brains soften. Those who subsist off propaganda and hype can go get fucked.
Posted 01/05/2006 - 07:24:54 AM by boilingboy:
 Lodovico, did you actually read any that was said? Or are you just backing up your blog buddie? When I come across an unsolicited comment insulting me, I'm going to respond. Dougie, like I said, I'll send you a picture. Raskolnikov has a right to his opinion...this is not a club you can kick people out of. Either respond to the subject of the criticism (um, the MUSIC) or just shut up. I swear, you guys are petty and small-minded. Nobody cares about your clique.
Posted 01/05/2006 - 09:44:13 AM by lodovico:
 I thought what I wrote was quite funny
Posted 01/05/2006 - 12:43:10 PM by bassman08:
 raskolnikov: So I missed one "r" while typing. Once. Get over it. boilingboy: "Either respond to the subject of the criticism (um, the MUSIC) or just shut up. I swear, you guys are petty and small-minded." Hmm, that's interesting. Let's break this down. "Either respond the the criticism of just shut up." That's funny, seeing as how you haven't responded the the criticism, you're just making stupid insults over the internet. "I swear, you guys are petty and small minded." Again, raskolnikov is the one that began this with a totally absurd comment that had nothing to do with the music, just flat out insulting whoever liked a band. That's pretty petty if you ask me. I'll bet he hasn't even heard the record. Talk about small minded...
Posted 01/05/2006 - 01:10:43 PM by raskolnikov:
 Hey bassman08--re smallmindedness: you are the one who likes a band that has bad, cliched song titles like "Take It or Leave It", not me. You are the one who defends a rock band that steals musical ideas from losers like Barry Manilow, not me. You are the one who finds this utterly transparent marketing concept to be a valid form of music, not me. To insinuate that criticism of a shitty pop band like the Strokes can be equated with smallmindedness is similar to saying that a unilateral war of aggression is equivalent to a righteous act of altruism. Do you get what I'm saying, or must I dumb it down even further for you?
Posted 01/05/2006 - 01:53:05 PM by dougrokakis:
 I'm not saying that people shouldn't be entitled to their opinion on this site, but it tends to get pretty repetitive with whatever raskolnikov and boilingboy have to say about the record being reviewed. raskolnikov is on a mission to crush pop music and spread the word about the experimental sounds of artists that almost no one can tolerate while boilingboy just says whatever he can to cause an arguement with people who are most likely half his age. The simple solution would be for raskolnikov to venture to another site and for boilingboy to stop worshipping at the alter of pancake_repairman.
Posted 01/05/2006 - 03:55:22 PM by boilingboy:
 "On a mission to crush pop music"? Wow...sounds pretty serious.
Posted 01/05/2006 - 04:07:43 PM by bassman08:
 Hey raskolnikov, get real. I never said that the Strokes were the greatest band ever, or that they are the only band that matters. I like the Strokes because they are mindless fun that I can put on and rock out to every once and a while. Nothing more, nothing less. They have one or two great songs, and the rest is expendable. Does that mean it isn't worth listening to? I don't think so. And I fail to see how it is smallminded for me to merely like the Strokes. It's not like they're the only thing I listen to or I blindly praise their every move. On the contrary, about half of this album sucks. I acknowledged that straight up already. Check previous posts, pal. Either way, your argument was illogical because you weren't even criticising their music-you were criticising people that like them. I have yet to hear you come up with one original piece of criticism for this album. I'd imagine that's because you haven't listened to this album yet, because-and bear with me here, it may get confusing for you-you're too small minded to give it a chance and listen to it. I've seen the Barry Manilow argument on every review for this album. This doesn't tell me that you've actually listened to this album and given it a chance, just that you've surfed MetaCritic and read every review so you think you know exactly how it sounds. So cut the bullshit, and try giving me some real criticism besides "Uhh, they suck and anyone who listens to them does too." PS: Cliched song titles? Give me a break. You act like the Strokes are the first band to ever do such a thing.
Posted 01/05/2006 - 04:54:15 PM by dougrokakis:
 boilingboy: at least raskolnikov's agenda is somewhat respectable. Your just a bitter man with lacking musical taste. I would LOVE to see what records you loved from last year as I'm sure they're all predictable and pathetic.
Posted 01/05/2006 - 05:09:13 PM by boilingboy:
 Dougie, you have no idea what you are talking about, do you. Assumptions about my weight and my record collection based on no info, whatsoever. Predictable? didn't you just accuss raskolnikov of trying to crush pop music, and and listening to experimental music that no one can tolerate? What's experimental to you? Arcade Fire? You know, I actually looked up this pancake fella you always reference, ad nauseum. He had one great line I liked: He calls himself the Poseur Exterminator. Dougie, you are on the hit list.
Posted 01/05/2006 - 06:11:07 PM by dougrokakis:
 It's odd that Pancake says that because his favorite album from last year was Coheed and Cambria's "Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV, Vol. 1: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness". He also says that Radiohead is the worst band currently in existence and that his most anticipated album of the year is the new Rainer Maria. If his idea of being the poseur exterminator is accurate, then he might as well just kill himself right now don't you think? In reference to raskolnikov's love for intolerable music, not all of it is inaccessible and none of it is garbage, but getting upset with people for not loving Khanate and Pelt is a little silly. I really would love to see your list of favorite albums. 10 would suffice since I doubt you've even heard that many records from this year.
Posted 01/05/2006 - 07:55:16 PM by boilingboy:
 Now, why would you say that, Dougie? Especially since you know too well that I know what I'm talking about? I have years in the music industry, and probably forgotten more tunes than you will ever know. I don't make Top 10 lists to impress my pen pals. Hate to pull rank like a jackass, but you refuse to discuss on any adult level. I could really care less what pancake boy likes or hates, and, frankly I disagree with someone who doesn't like My Morning Jacket, but praises also-rans like Trunk Federation. Not the point at all. He just happens to be another grizzled music vet with a very sensitive bullshit detecter. We don't get that way by being bedsitters. I don't go on about my favorites because I don't need to see my taste in music confirmed on a blog, like some sniveling teenagers I could point out. I just can't stand poseurs going through their "music phase" while studying to be a CPA, and vote Republican a year after graduation. Also, Dougie, keep in mind that today's "experimental" music is tomorrow's Top 40. At least bassman08 presented a cogent argument...very readable. You just spurt off bafflingly ignorant opinions about readers you don't want to see on Stylus. Ya little poseur...I'm gonna sic pancake repair boy on your pathetic ass.
Posted 01/05/2006 - 10:40:19 PM by kriminal_01:
 do you people get off on arguing about bullshit?? its enough that ppl who want to read comments with substance have to come here and find this shit...but do they have to be long ass passages of retort that obviously show you losers have nothing better to do with yourselves
Posted 01/05/2006 - 10:50:57 PM by kriminal_01:
 and mr. southall this review is disgraceful.
Posted 01/05/2006 - 10:54:51 PM by kriminal_01:
 if you don't like a band, fine. at least tell me why if youre going to talk shit about them in a public forum. you owe me that much if you're the reviewer.
Posted 01/06/2006 - 01:01:06 AM by bassman08:
 Dude, Nick hasn't posted any shit about the Strokes. An I thought it was a pretty good review.
Posted 01/06/2006 - 03:07:26 AM by dougrokakis:
 I disagree with the idea that today's "experimental" music is tomorrow's top 40. Maybe bands with experimental leanings can sneak their way into the top 40, but come on old man. There's no way that bands like Khanate and Pelt or even bands similar to that would ever make any impact in the top 40 now or in the future. To actually think that way only helps prove the fact that you are behind with modern music.
Posted 01/06/2006 - 04:30:16 AM by Marcopolo:
 I think Stylus should stop the comments section.It begins to be boring and vain.
Posted 01/06/2006 - 09:57:39 AM by boilingboy:
 Okay, now that we're actually talking about music: I think what you're saying is that I'm behind the times on Top 40, not modern music. Modern music could be described as anything fresh, different and taking a direction that hasn't previousely been done successfully. Top 40 reflects what people are comfortable with. An old radio saying: "People don't know what they like...they like what they know." The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand and Bloc party are on Top 40 today because "experimental" groups like Television and Gang of Four did it 30 years ago. Who's to say if a more digestible form of Pelt won't be a hit 30 years from now? Too long a gestation period to be valid? okay, how about The Pixies into Nirvana? A span of only 5 years from what Top 40 considered "Freak music", to Teen Spirit. By the way, I like a couple of songs from the Strokes.
Posted 01/06/2006 - 12:13:20 PM by bassman08:
 I agree with boilingboy. I mean, if you need any indication that underground and experimental (if by experimental you mean goes against the norm in popular music) music has impact on the top 40 of 20 years later, look no further than 1977. No one thought that the Sex Pistols or Buzzcocks or Clash would have any impact whatsoever on the climate of ppular music, it was too "shocking" and too different from what was normally going on. Now look: every shitty pop punk or emo band that has any type of sucess whatsoever owes at least something to those bands (see: Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Sum 41, blah, blah, blah...). You could even take it back further to the 60s. The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin: all that shit was CRAZY back then. But look what happened. In the 70s and 80s you had bad bands trying to mime what they saw from the pioneers, who were seen as experimental. Now, I don't know anything about Pelt, but it is entierly possible that a bunch of kids today will want toimitate them when they form bands 10 years down the road. That isn't to say that all of ito will be bad like Sum 41 or hair metal or whatever, but I think bands with good influences comes with the territory (meaning they aren't always going to be good). I love Bloc Party, Franz, The Strokes, and all them, but I also realize that there are some mediocre bands that have the same influence (Kaiser Chiefs, Bravery, Killers, ect). I still think I prefer those bands to 95% of today's modern popular rock, but you have to realize that it happens.
Posted 01/06/2006 - 12:13:45 PM by bassman08:
 And I apologize for the length of that post.
Posted 01/08/2006 - 05:25:13 PM by nixonian:
 so much hostility
Posted 01/09/2006 - 10:47:44 AM by wmdavidson:
 So... The Strokes. Anyone remember them? I'm still processing this album but my feelings are pretty positive so far. It sounds like the White Album next to the first two. By and large pretty good stuff, and I think it will grow on me more with more spins, but I do feel like it could have been improved by tightening it up closer to half-hour length, and not just by cutting whole songs-- a few of the longer songs could stand to be cut down to 2:30 or so. But I can appreciate them trying to stretch out and do something different.
Posted 01/09/2006 - 01:36:49 PM by kriminal_01:
 almost as blunt as mr. southalls review
Posted 01/09/2006 - 02:31:07 PM by bassman08:
 wma: The album defiantly grew on me, much like "Juicebox" did (when I heard the song after it was first released I thought it was the crappiest thing ever put to record, but now I think it's up there with their best). However, there are some songs that are definatly worthy of being cut alltogether: "Ask Me Anything" is horrible, so is "15 Minutes". "Fear of Sleep" kind of sucks too, not because it's really bad, but just because it's sort of boring. I think I would have cut those three songs alltogether. I think could live with some of the more mediocre songs on here (like "Electricityscape" and "Killing Lies") if I didn't have to sit through those 3 songs mentioned above as well.
Posted 01/09/2006 - 04:39:25 PM by wmdavidson:
 I don't mind "Ask Me Anything," at least not for the first couple of minutes. One of the things that makes Strokes songs great is that they run as long as they need to and not a second longer. Too many tracks on "First Impressions" stick around for 4:30 just because they can ("On the Other Side" probably being the worst offender).
Posted 01/09/2006 - 06:11:23 PM by bassman08:
 Wow, yeah, the first time I heard "On The Other Side" I felt the exact same thing. I really dig the song itself, but it seems a bit long. I like the first half of it though.
Posted 01/27/2006 - 08:45:08 AM by noahsark:
 despite having a few shitty songs on here, first impressions is a very good album. i really want to hate the strokes, because without them we probably wouldn't have to endure hard fi or the kaiser chiefs right now. but the fact is they consistently churn out decent albums and have outlasted the hype. and they're one of the few bands who excite me with their music more than their four-page nme spreads.
Posted 02/05/2006 - 11:45:01 AM by meatbreak:
 Let me be the last word on this - from what lofty position, I know not, but let me tell you this, and set it in stone. The Strokes are over. They were over as soon as Room On Fire came out. This is a footnote. Poor little overhyped coke rock. Bye bye.
Posted 02/23/2006 - 11:45:09 AM by BeingaBunny:
 Yep, The Strokes go cheeserock on this one. They must be from Wisconsin or something... Maybe Casablanca is a part time cheese sculptor as well.