When a member of a famous band goes solo, essentially one of two things can happen. Either they will take their new creative freedom as a chance to express musical depths that they could not in their previous group, or they will stick close to the sound that brought them success, and more or less deliver what fans expect from them. Albert Hammond Jr.’s solo work is certainly more of the second camp, with all the turn-of-the-century garage rock style that made the Strokes so successful.
That is not to disparage the solo work of Hammond Jr. Indeed, the fact that he was once part of the Strokes, who’s peak was both so bright and so brief, only makes his solo career that much more satisfying. With his solo work Hammond seems to make that statement that the Strokes could still be this good, if only fame and in-fighting hadn’t torn them apart.
Put any of the tracks off his latest, 2018’s Francis Trouble up against Is This It or Room On Fire to see just how well they hold up. The clean, concise guitar melodies that were so foundational to The Strokes timeless sound are just a