Monday, July 11, 2011

Singing with The Strokes

What would Julian Casablancas' voice sound like if he didn't insist on being recorded down a phone line? The Strokes' frontman must possess a bass register. At the very least, his vocals will have sub-harmonics (the discrete notes that resonate below the root whenever you sing) - but they're consistently, mercilessy EQ-d out of his performance.

I like to imagine that outside the recording studio Julian's voice is wildly erratic. Maybe he produces a rumbling subsonic tone every time he opens his mouth. It is disconcerting and uncomfortable for anyone who hears it. A few unfortunate victims bleed out of their eyes and urinate involuntarily. This is why The Strokes cannot bear to be in the same room as each other. Nick Valensi, in particular, has a weak bladder and has on occasion short-circuited an amp by facing the wrong way during the chorus to Last Nite.

Sadly the real explanation for Casablancas' reedy, thin vocals is a lot more pedestrian. Have you ever noticed that "cool" bands always sing through a megaphone? They like to think it makes them look innovative and edgy, but really they come across as incredibly fey gym instructors with appalling personal hygeine. That's The Strokes in a nutshell.

Here's the New Yorkers' latest single, Taken For A Fool - one of the big highlights on their (surprisingly vivacious) new album Angles. Sounds a bit like the Chili Peppers in the verses, but I'm ok with that...

The Strokes - Taken For A Fool

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