By Séamus Smyth

5. The End has no End

“Two steps forward and two steps back, it won’t be easy.” They were daunting lyrics for the proposed dance routine that tragically never took off. It’s the Cadillac ranch of indie rock, with the same timeless appeal, but for an audience 100 degrees cooler. The end has no end, but what the audience wishes to communicate in a heart-shaped letter is that they didn’t want this jam to have an expiry date either.


4. Under Control

It’s Sinatra for the tone deaf. Casablancas croons wonderfully off-key and I’d be a monkey’s uncle if something so ugly ever sounded so beautiful. It’s slow-dancing for potheads, where misty lights are replaced by cigarette smoke and glasses of wine are substituted for flasks of cheap whiskey.


3. Under the Cover of Darkness

“I’ll wait for you, will you wait for me?” is a question that has flailed in the wind since the beginning of time. It is hopefully a rhetorical question, until it is asked in the middle of a divorce proceeding. There is nothing original about the line, but Casablancas’ has always managed to make everything he utters sound brand new.


2. You Only Live Once

It is arguably their most radio-groping track that still somehow didn’t get nearly as popular as it deserved. It was the prom king that never was, the track that got drunk in the back corner with all the girls wooing and awing while some inferior song was accepting the accolades deserved to this brilliant song. It should have been the first single off of their least-entertaining album “First Impressions of Earth,” but you can’t change the past because well, you only live once.


1. Hard to Explain

“Last Night” is a blast, but “Hard to Explain,” made it easy to elaborate on why the Strokes were the greatest band of the first half of the 2000s. It’s sprinting to the finish line, similar to the pace of the world at the time, and although it is struggling to catch its breath, it manages to utter some of the most profound lyrics we’ve heard since the 90s. It was a throwback in a period when everything was becoming a throwback. Just when we began to think that the world had finally ran out of ideas, the Strokes broke out of the New York jungle and re-engineered sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll for the new millennium.