Reviews

The Strokes – Bad Decisions is a strong representation of what they have always been, a guitar-driven, garage-esque rock band with great energy and poise

The Strokes are back, and we’re delighted to have them. After all, the band is one of the last bastions of American rock music before it was shelved after Y2K. Their last album, 2013 release, Comedown Machine was released and devoid of interviews, TV appearances and press in general. Regardless, it was met with fairly positive reviews, a promising note for the band and their legions of fans. With the upcoming April, 2020 album, The New Abnormal, The Strokes seem to be back in line for a compelling release and may narrowly miss the “comeback album” moniker due to the band’s 7 year hiatus.

One of the single releases from The New Abnormal is Bad Decisions and honestly it’s anything but. Bad Decisions lets us peer-in on the band, casually, voyeuristically and imagine what could be in store for us. The single, finds the usually radio-friendly band in a place right where they left off. Musically speaking,

Bad Decisions is a strong representation of what The Stokes have always been, a guitar-driven, garage-esque rock band with great energy and poise. Bad Decisions is packed with staccato guitar parts and well-thought-out tones. If the single is an accurate representation of the upcoming album, indie guitar aficionados and guitar store cowboys are in for a real treat.

Rhythmically-forward songs of the past have been recaptured in this single and put forth in the usual Strokes manner. I can hear the under-the-breath comments now, “wow, this band’s ripping off The Strokes”.  From a songwriting perspective, Bad Decisions is purposeful, it’s well-crafted and mainstream enough to sell albums yet esoteric enough to please indie music snobs. Casablanca is in good voice. His delivery is believable and just-out-of-pocket, often moaning, right where we’ve always adored him. Bonus points for the Basquiat album art too. I checked out the video release of Bad Decisions and the camera finds the band well, spry, cheeky even. One can only hope it convinces dudes to trim their beards.

This single will definitely make you stop and think, The Strokes were a really great band, I had forgotten how much music they had shared with us over the past… and then you’ll hold them sacred as one of America’s top rock acts. The missing part of this rediscovery is where they are going to exist in today’s market. They’re not old enough to be a reunion type act (thank god), but they’re not young enough for the usual purveyors of music news to cover ad nauseam. I mean, I wonder what Strokes fans of the past are up to now? 7 years is an eternity by today’s standards. Don’t let this happen again guys.

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the authorChris Ambrosino
Reviewer & Playlist curator
Chris Ambrosino hails from the Catskill region of New York and has been a performer and songwriter since 1987. He also has worked as an art director and graphic artist for several organizations. Chris currently plays and writes for indie band, Blue Ribbon and is a contributing writer for the Alt. Daily blog and For The Love Of Bands website. He has resided in Hampton Roads, VA since 1994.

5 Comments

  • Agreed on this one, the single they released prior was interesting but sounded more like Julian C trying to sneak in a solo number rather than a bonafide return of The Strokes – this one, however, very much delivered on that promise!

  • Can’t wait for this album. At The Door is a sign of the more experimental side and Bad Decisions is classic Strokes. Should be a good mix.

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