Just Kevin saying we’re fucking crazy :’)
The Strokes’ ‘Room on Fire’ was released ten years ago today [Oct. 20, 2003]
‘Room On Fire’ doesn’t sound like The Strokes copying themselves. While you couldn’t mistake it for another band, the album is extraordinary for what it doesn’t do. Most bands get self-indulgent on their second album, unleashing that epic ballad and maybe chucking in an orchestra or two (“I hate that shit,” says Albert Hammond Jr), but The Strokes have done the opposite. The average song length is three minutes. There are no extra musicians — no backing vocals or horn sections, nothing that couldn’t be replicated live.
However, there’s nothing drab or austere about ‘Room On Fire’. If on ‘Is This It’, every track could have been a single, on ‘Room On Fire’ the Strokes have made an album on which every track could — should — be a Number One. By now you’ll have fallen in love with the new wave trash classic ’12:51′. And if you’re into that, you’re going to freak when you hear ‘Automatic Stop”s irresistible chorus, the reggae-tinged sleaze of ‘Between Love And Hate’, ‘The End Has No End”s jaunty resignation, the thrumming ‘You Talk Way Too Much’ and, well, everything else. Then there’s ‘Under Control’. Three minutes and two seconds of sleepy-eyed soul, it’s the albums biggest stylistic departure and the best thing they’ve ever done. “It’s a song to chill out and get stoned to,” says Nick Valensi, “and we’ve never really had a song like that, so it makes me happy.”