The Strokes - "Threat of Joy" (Singles Going Steady)

by PopMatters Staff

25 July 2016

The Strokes take a low key approach to the music, and it pays off handsomely.
 

Steve Horowitz: Very nicely done! The Strokes take a low key approach to the music, and it pays off handsomely. The guitars shine through the haze, the drummer keeps the beat lively and the vocals are unpretentiously delivered with a smile. The band’s musical chops turn what could be an ordinary song into something special. The video has some fun moments as it plays with the conventions of heist films and greedy Wall Street pigs, but the “Threat of Joy” offers its own rewards. [9/10]
  

Pryor Stroud: If you read the title of the Strokes’ surprise EP Future Present Past the way all English syntax is meant to be read—left to right, one word after the other—then the essence of the album bleeds into view. Neither “Future” or “Present” are standalone substances; they’re trajectories that barrel straight into the “Past,” that become one with it. The “Future” is the “Present” in the “Past”, this title seems to suggest. Considering that the EP is a compilation of scratchy, yet highly melodic garage-punk songs that could have been made in the pre-First Impressions of Earth era, this an apt description of the record’s sound. These are songs that rely heavily on the band’s past triumphs, and “Threat of Joy” is perhaps the most unashamedly retrogressive effort here. All the elements of a prototypical Strokes anthem spill out of its flesh: Julian Casablancas’ slurred yet sprightly vocal, Nick Valensi’s neon-lacquered guitar, and a neo-punk swagger that is equal parts Lou Reed, Television, and Wire. Recently, it was said that The Strokes are succumbing to the “classic rock” category faster than their contemporary peers. “Threat of Joy” seems to stand up, brush the cobwebs off its jacket and ask: what’s wrong with that?  [7/10]

Chris Ingalls: Another song from the new Future Present Past EP, “Threat of Joy” is refreshing in that it’s the Strokes doing what they do best—Julian Casablancas managing his best off-key Lou Reed crooning while the band jangles away behind him, sounding like something between Television and a more laid-back Weezer. Bright, tuneful guitars weave in and out. The song has an almost timeless feel, harking back to the heyday of CBGB’s while sounding utterly contemporary. The world may not have been pining for this new EP, but it’s nice to see the Strokes back in action. [7/10]

SCORE: 7.66

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