The Strokes release their first EP in 15 years

Chris Duncan

Fifteen years ago, The Strokes revived rock and roll, and although their sound today may be a far cry from what fans fell in love with, they still qualify as rock stars.

However, with their stylistic changes, the band has lost many fans along the way. The Strokes’ most recent album Comedown Machine, released in 2013, was a new low for the group. Not only did the project receive mediocre reviews, The Strokes didn’t play a single show or promote the record. The big question on most fans’ minds was one many didn’t want an answer to: Should The Strokes even make another album?

Fans might have found their answer with The Strokes’ new EP, Future Present Past, the band’s first since 2001’s The Modern Age, the release that made them one of the most popular acts in Europe.  Like Modern Age, Future Present Past features three songs. Although this EP may not carry the same energy and weight as their first, The Strokes finally seem to be enjoying themselves again.

As indicated by the title, Future Present Past’s three songs each emulate a specific sound from The Strokes’ history. Generally, each song matches its time period. “Drag Queen” sounds like a new direction for the group, “OBLIVIUS” holds true as a modern Strokes song and “Threat of Joy” has the same punchy guitars and conscious vocals that made fans fall in love with Modern Age.

Taken on its own, Future Past Present contains some surprising moments — most notably on “Drag Queen” — that would likely impress someone unfamiliar with The Strokes’ catalog. The most refreshing part of this EP is hearing singer Julian Casablancas become uncharacteristically forthcoming with his lyrics, discussing his former addictions and his own internal dialogues, similar to the narratives throughout The Modern Age and their debut album Is This It.

It was obvious in 2013 that The Strokes were tired of their own hype machine. With Future Present Past, the band has shown that they’re ready to move past their recent shortcomings and seek a new path for their music.

  • Future Present Past
  • Artist: The Strokes
  • Genre: Indie rock
  • Tracks: 3
  • Rating: 5/10