On 7/12/14, Strokes frontman and solo artist Julian Casablancas will be bringing his latest musical endeavour, The Voidz, to the UK, playing an exclusive show at The Coronet Theatre in London.
Julian Casablancas is best known for being the enigmatic frontman of New York based garage-rock band, The Strokes. His drawling vocals and indecipherable lyrics have given him a distinctive aura of exceptional coolness that set him apart as an icon of noughties rock music, emulated in both sound and style by bands worldwide. During the break the band took after their third album, First Impressions of Earth, Casablancas released a solo album, entitled Phrazes for the Young. This synth-heavy album was a stark contrast from any of his former songwriting, creating speculative claims that this album was a result of his creative control that had allegedly been somewhat relinquished on the last Strokes record.
Since the release of Phrazes for the Young, The Strokes have reunited to create two more albums, both of which have received mixed reviews and fairly limited commercial success in the charts. Since the release of Comedown Machine, The Strokes’ fifth studio album, Casablancas has formed The Voidz as a side project and creative outlet that seems to be without limitation and non-expectant of the same commercial success that is anticipated of The Strokes.
Tyranny, the band’s debut album, is an explosion of sounds and ideas that make it seem more like an abstract, conceptual art piece than music for the masses. At points, it verges on unmelodic, noisy nonsense, but Casablancas is a composer, his range of eccentric influences (from The Velvet Underground to Mozart, evident in use of a Mozart sample on single, ‘Human Sadness’), and it is this talent that reigns the album in. Something about the chaotic order of sound makes you feel that this is something humanity is not quite ready for yet, and perhaps, like so many other great albums, it will be hailed as a cult classic in years to come. In the moments after finishing it, you will find yourself suspended in the gap between the madness and masterpiece that Tyranny creates.
In their recent US tour, the band have typically been playing most of Tyranny, alongside Strokes song ‘Ize of The World’ and demo ‘I’ll Try Anything Once’, which are some of Casablancas’ best work and definitely complement the style that his music with The Voidz takes. However, as this is a one off show in the UK, we might reasonably expect a few more songs from The Strokes’ discography or even some of Phrazes. In a venue with a small capacity of only 2,600 people and tickets still available to buy online, an incredible energy from the crowd is almost guaranteed. In terms of what to expect from Casablancas himself, I’m not entirely sure.