I was just in Baltimore’s Soundgarden (which by the way is one of the best record stores in the Maryland area) and heard one of Julian Casablancas’ new songs from his solo album, Phrazes For The Young. I’m not the biggest fan of the Strokes – I think they had a great debut, but Room on Fire more of a rehash of the same, with a couple of good songs thrown in for good measure. The ones that sounded the best were the ones that didn’t sound like Is This It. I just kind of wrote them off after that. (Although Albert Hammond’s Yours To Keep was pretty good even if it sound like the Strokes.) I just assumed that Casablancas would write another Strokes album with his name replacing the band. Not that far fetched considering he wrote all the songs anyway.
I was actually quite surprised by what I heard. Casablancas has a pretty distinct voice, so it was easy to tell it was him singing, but the music was pretty removed from the garage-rock rivial of the Strokes. Instead of fuzzed out guitars, “The Tourist” was propelled by a drum-loop and that kept pounding, and keyboards. The bridge was pretty interesting as well – containing more keyboards and and synthesizers that sounded like they belonged on a Mega Man Video game. It was quite eerie and catchy at the same time. Not something that I was expecting from Casablancas. I’m interested to hear the rest some point soon, but I ended up buying Elvis Costello’s Secret Profane, and Sugarcane instead only because that was what I came in for.