Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. recently released "Rude Customer," a single on his upcoming AHJ EP, which sounds like a return to form Strokes record more so than a solo project.
It is clear that Hammond Jr. is either deeply responsible for or deeply influenced by the sound that he helped to develop in the Strokes' heyday, as "Rude Customer" sounds like it should be a popular Strokes song. With the melodic, chugging powerchords, the quiet yet defined bass line and the repetitive, hyperactive of a guitar solo, the song would fit remarkably well on 2003's Room on Fire, when the Strokes were still the kings of the revived New Wave rock sound.
Noticeably absent are Julian Casablancas' vocals however. Hammond has a good voice and range-wise he might be on key as often as or more than Casablancas, but the distinct flair and lack of refinement in the original Strokes vocals was one aspect that set it apart, and its absence is slightly disappointing.
All the same, Hammond's non-Strokes work is shaping up to be solid, enjoyable pop rock that calls back a whole decade's worth of New-New Wave nostalgia.
Preorder the full PHJ EP from the Cult Records Store.