Julian Casablancas Finally Finds His Post-Strokes Swagger In The Voidz

The Strokes are one of the great Rock bands of all time. Their unique combination of style and substance and swagger and smarts helped lead Rock into the 21st century with a knowing nudge-and-a-wink that was missing from the earnestness of 90s grunge. They cleared a path for the legion of post-ironic indie acts that pay homage to a particular style of Rock while simultaneously, if not making fun of it, certainly taking the piss as the Brits say. But you’ve got to have the chops to pull this gambit off convincingly and The Strokes surely did/do.

Front man Julian Casablancas didn’t demonstrate nearly the same cocky assurance on his first two solo albums in 2009 and 2014, which is completely understandable since he bravely but wisely decided to step completely outside his Strokes comfort zone on both albums. He’s a very creative guy who pushed these albums out in all directions musically, and some of it was very compelling and groovy, and some of it was unlistenable, but full marks earned for sticking his neck out there.

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Well his third post-Strokes album is coming March 30, and judging from these four tracks that have been released so far, it sounds like Casablancas has found his post-Strokes voice at last, delivering his trademark confident swagger in killer new musical clothing, this time taking satirical/not satirical aim at late-80s/early 90s pop, club, trip hop and art Rock. So far all of it is not just listenable, but pretty damn impressive, great sound and great songcraft in all four tracks.

It’s interesting to note that Casablancas’ last album Tyranny was billed as Julian Casablancas & The Voidz, while the new album Virtue is credited to simply The Voidz. Keeping his ego in check as much as possible made The Strokes a better band, and maybe he’s realized that’s the secret to the success of his new band too.


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