Best known for being the pistol-quick rhythm guitarist for seminal New York rock band The Strokes, it’s surprising how different Albert Hammond Jr.’s solo work sounds to his legendary band. His most recognisable solo song, 2006’s In Transit is a rushing, sickly sweet, atmospheric joy ride from start to finish. Hammond steps away from the grungy racket of early Stokes music and evokes the more electronic and bubbly sounds of the band’s most recent albums, Angles and Comedown Machine.
Born Slippy is the breezy first single from his upcoming 3rd solo record Momentary Masters. Drawing comparisons to Blondie and Television, it’s a step back in time to the electronica of the 80s’ but with a modern rock twist.
In its opening verse, Hammond evokes a quirky melancholia built on precise guitars and a funky 80s’ beat. The chorus picks up pace with a beautifully atmospheric ambience, which provides the perfect contrast to the electronic danciness of the verses. The lyrics range from to cheeky and nonsensical to dreamy and romantic.
Hammond’s voice isn’t as strong as his Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas, yet it has a certain appeal in its surprisingly diverse range. From the quirky singsong verses to the uplifting chorus, his voice makes a lot of quick changes in tone to being various emotions to the song.
Although I was disappointed that the track wasn’t a cover of Underworld’s rave favourite Born Slippy, Hammond’s song is an uplifting anthem that proves there is hope for a solo career outside a massively successful and beloved band. Although, I’m always keen for new Strokes music.
‘Momentary Masters’ is out July 31st.