The Strokes - "One Way Trigger"

Well, here are a couple of surprises! For one thing: The Strokes have a new song! For another: It does not sound like any goddam Strokes song I’ve ever heard! The track, entitled “One Way Trigger,” marries the band’s blase hedonism to a weirdly dinky synthpop hook and gives Julian Casablancas a chance to do some falsetto wailing. There’s a particularly ornery Albert Hammond, Jr. solo in there, too. Stream it below.

Download the track at the Strokes’ site.

Comments (156)
  1. Well that was interesting. Really dig Julian Casablanca’s falsetto and I’m not really sure why.

  2. This is so fucking welcome. Continues their bizarrely intriguing evolution they fumbled with on Angles and is already ten times more focused than the majority of that record.

    Hooray Strokes.

  3. lol “Take On Me”

  4. I dunno, that seemed like a strange vocal choice for JC. I liked everything else about it though.

  5. Are… are you sure this is The Strokes?

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  7. Unusual!

    Although I can’t help but love that voice.

    • Literally the coolest possible voice a human could have. (Debatable of course.)

      A few years ago I was on a subway platform with my brothers in NYC the day after seeing the Strokes play MSG and Julian walked by us (although “sauntered” is probably a better word). I wasn’t facing him so I didn’t know who it was at first but my brothers did and their jaws dropped in perfect unison, which was hilarious enough. We then slowly nudged along behind him until he turned towards us to go down some more stairs, which resulted in like 10 seconds of super awkward eye contact as we stood there mouths agape, totally frozen. I’ve always regretted not even being able to say something as simple as “Great show last night.”

      On a similar note, I was walking through SoHo over the summer and saw someone who I thought looked like Jude Law walk by. So as my then-girlfriend popped into an ATM I circled back 10 feet and cautiously investigated the dude who was now waiting to cross a street. I was like 5 feet behind him when Jude Law turned around, stared directly into my eyes, squinted a bit, and took a badass puff of his cigarette. I froze like a deer in the headlights until I was able to smile awkwardly and nod to myself as if to say yep, that’s him. At which point I walked away.

      I am an idiot around celebrities.

  8. Where’s the monkey peeing in it’s own mouth video?

  9. Sounds like a synthesizer throwing up on itself

  10. Good song. If only that dumb synth was one of their rad guitar tones.

  11. I made it a minute in. What is this madness? I can definitely still hear the Stokes in this, but ugh to the falsetto.

  12. i have no idea what to think about it. is that JC singing those high falsettos? sounds like the final high note of the vocal run on Ize of the World except for entire verses. sweet guitar solo/snare fill. also, i hope the album has MORE GUITARS

    • i know what to think about this ONE AND ONLY SONG WE’VE HEARD (THAT HOPEFULLY MIGHT JUST BE A B-SIDE)…crushing disappointment. this sucks.and im sad now.

  13. Sounds like a guy playing covers of The Strokes in a keyboard on youtube.

  14. This is probably just the cutting room version of the song. I can almost guarantee that it’ll end up being done in instrumentals rather than the synth, for those that are, for some reason, offended by this version.

  15. This is probably just the cutting room version of the song. I can almost guarantee that it’ll end up being done in instrumentals rather than the synth, for those that are, for some reason, offended by this version.

    • I don’t know… Angles (not to mention Julian’s solo stuff) showed that they are all too willing to mix synths into their sound. I hope you’re right though.

      • I don’t get why they continue to insist synths into their songs! Its wild. For a once great garage rock band known for being simply primal and awesome, why are they elaborating their songs with needless synths. I keep getting dissapointed that they don’t just be The Strokes again instead of trying to be The Cars.

    • Weird that you posted the same comment twice and one of them is -2 and the other +7

  16. “aww man cmon where r the geetars I LIKE RAWK. fellas please gimme those sweet licks with some distortion! HEAD STRONG ILL TAKE YOU ON!”
    -this comment section

    • or it could be because Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr are actually good guitarists….

      also, possibly the fact that the Strokes kind of reincarnated garage rock in the early ’00s

      (I can’t believe I responded to this)

      • yea they already reincarnated garage rock and they already wrote “is this it” so why keep asking them to do that again?

        • i don’t want them to do anything over again. i know it wasnt a strokes record, but phrazes for the young was about as different as a guy could do and i love/d it. just has to be good.

        • it’s less asking them to do it again and more asking them to actually use the talented members. If I could name a really talented drummer right now I’d use the analogy of [insert band here] using a drum machine instead of [insert drummer here]

          Also, I personally am tired of the electronic/digital direction that indie rock seems to be taking lately.

      • They basically wrote Is This It twice. There was the original version, and then the much better reboot with Room On Fire. Why would you want them to do early ’00s garage rock? Seriously though, this song is great. I thought the last album was underrated and deserved more attention. Glad they’re going even further out there.

        • ugh, the ‘Room on Fire is another Is This It’ argument. people expect transformations from bands with every record nowadays. the strokes were 20 when Is This It came out. 20! how dare they be on a shithot streak of writing PERFECT rock songs?!

          you’re own argument that they wrote it twice, but it came out way better the 2nd go around is is just plain contradictory. if it were the same it wouldn’t be better. it’d be the same.

          • Evil Dead II is almost the exact same movie as The Evil Dead, plus some comedy. Everyone acknowledges this, even the director. It’s the same lead actor, same general plot, but given a slightly new purpose. Artists tend to rewrite or rework their greatest successes. Sometimes the rewrite/rework is better than the original because they’ve matured and can refine the original ideas. Room On Fire was written by a young band that didn’t know where it wanted to go musically so it decided to work within the framework of what they had already constructed. That isn’t a criticism. I like the album more than Is This It because they refined and elaborated on some of their earlier ideas. So I’m not sure why you’re so angry. I’m not arguing that they’re lacking in originality or anything like that. That argument is pretty much irrelevant today. I’m arguing, they said what they wanted to say in that area, now they’re saying something else. I like it. That’s all.

        • Ok, so I’m guess I’m the only one who reacted to this song with “Well, I guess the Stokes are just following the music trends.” I don’t care if they bring back garage rock, but this song just sounds like a lot of other things that have come out lately. It’s annoying bordering on boring.

          • And you didn’t listen to Last Nite and say to yourself this is a fucking tom petty song? Get off this website you’re embarrassing music fans

          • Yes, Is This It is derivative and holds its influences on its sleeve (I hear the Velvet Underground more than Tom Petty). Yes, I was 13 when I first heard it and didn’t know music as well, so it sounded new to me…

            …but Is This It came out at a time when rap-rock (Linkin Park) and “punk” (New Found Glory) were popular, so compared to that Is This It was a breath of fresh air. What I pointed out above is that rather than actually make something a little bit against the mainstream, this just feels like a lot of bands out there. And yes, I’m sure there were plenty of garage rock bands around in the 90s before the Strokes, they just didn’t blow up like the Strokes did.

            Of course, this is my opinion. And I know I’m in the minority. I apologize for thinking differently.

        • I’m not quite sure if this is what you meant buy that statement, but I am in the camp that thinks Room On Fire was loads better than Is This It. I couldn’t believe the amount of people that panned it as sounding too similar, and worse off for it. They took what worked, and worked the hell out of it the second time to perfection.

          Room On Fire fo’ life.

          • Word up. I enjoy select songs from all 4 of their albums and praise how they tried to experiment a little more starting with First Impressions…but Room on Fire? That’s the ultimate shit. There’s not a bad song on that album.

    • Danny, I’ll allow you to criticize the tone of these comments, but I will not allow you to quote the work of Trapt mockingly. Trapt is to be taken seriously.

    • cmon dude let’s not drag TRAPT into this

  17. It’s overreaction Friday, bitches!!!

  18. It sounds like each of The Strokes has developed a serious addiction to a mysterious Japanese club drug that hasn’t quite made it to the states yet – because there’s only so much baby albino blood to go around, and it’s 43% baby albino dolphin blood – that makes everything seem brighter, wobblier, and 3x faster than it should be. I don’t think this is a good thing.

  19. GUYS. its the fucking strokes and it’s not some bullshit boring under cover of darkness I AM SO GODDAMN EXCITED EEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i

    this fucking rules. perfect combo of phrazes and strokes and progress and innovation and synthdreamz and THIS IS SO FUCKING AWESOME CANT WAIT FOR MORE

    drink in the greatness my friends, as we’re lucky to have any strokes. and this ain’t just any strokes. 100% CERTIFIED PANTALOON JAZZAH1!@@@@@@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Jury’s still out on this one for me. May take a few listens to really warm up to it.

  21. I think it’s pronounced “horny.”

  22. Pretty sure this is a demo version that Julian wrote on a computer.
    Or the best troll by a band in years.
    Or I should just kill myself because The Strokes have officially stopped making good music.

  23. Also, I am undecided about this, going to go back to it later.

    I’m fairly sure I either totally love it or absolutely hate it.

    • Uhhhhhh, context please. Why is Julian on the Fued?

    • YOU TOTALLY LUV IT!!!!!!!!!!! GIVE IN K-BRO, GIVE IN!!!!!!!!!!

      • ok, so i dont absolutely love it, and i don’t totally hate it. i hate being in the middle of the road (unless im lying on the lines while cars pass by like in that really controversial movie disney bankrolled back in the 90s) but i like the hyper melodic phrazes aspect a lot, though julie does sound a bit tired

        but, because of don taytay’s enthusiasm, im gonna get fucking excited for this album, let’s DO IT!

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  25. I actually don’t mind the synth, but his vocals seem strangely drained of personality. Even the lower register parts sound like someone doing an impersonation of JC. It also seems to have the problem of most of the later-Strokes material: not-great vocal melodies. But I don’t hate it and I’m excited to hear more.

  26. So polarizing!!!!!!

  27. This is both a brilliant attempt at trolling AND a brilliant song.

  28. Don’t get some peoples’ surprise, this is a classic Strokes song just with a synth line and some falsetto. My initial reaction is that it’s catchy, and while relatively boundary pushing, much tighter than a lot of FIOE and Angles.

    • I would disagree completely that it’s tighter than FIOE or Angles. The mixing is some of the worst I’ve heard and is half the reason why the song sounds so bad (the other half being that it all sounds done on a computer).
      I actually have unreleased and demo stuff by them that is tighter to be honest.

  29. I will accept this as a song.

  30. For a long time, the criteria for a good Strokes song was ‘Does it sound like The Strokes?’
    Until now. Way to go, boys.

  31. 1, Let it be known that this is the first Strokes song to ever feature an acoustic guitar

    2. I have also accepted that The Strokes will never sound like the “Is This It?” Strokes we all have loved, and angrily missed. So. If they’re about dishing out accordion sounding synths and falsetto now, I’m 100% ready to take it seriously AS LONG AS THEY TAKE THEIR TIME ON A NEW ALBUM AND JULIAN ACTUALLY SINGS WITH THE BAND INSTEAD OF SENDING HIS VOCALS THROUGH EMAIL



  32. I don’t know, guess it’s okay. Sounds like a cross between Aha and a Realistics outtake.

  33. i don’t care what you all say, i like some of phrazes and angles too much to really hate the direction they’re going in

    now if they could only make an album full of great songs that sound like this one

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  35. Is Julian crying?

  36. Its odd that when the strokes released their last two album preceding singles the fans have claimed “Theyre back!!!”, both times. I wonder how the following album will turn out…

  37. Justin Timberlake and The Strokes should’ve made a double A-Side of ‘Suit & Tie ‘ and ‘One Way Trigger’ and called it ‘Weak-Ass Shit’ or ’2013 has started off badly’.

  38. Find a job
    Find a grave?
    Find a home
    Find a dog
    Settle down
    Out of town
    Find a dream
    Shut it down.

    Rock on fellas. 2013 is suddenly looking up.

  39. I hope this album has a full version of “I like the night”, I love that song just from the 30 second commercial

  40. What would you think about the song if you didn’t know that it’s a Stroke’s song?

  41. If the goal of this song was to associate the worst moment of Phrazes for the Young (cheap keyboard) with the most irritating moment of the Strokes (just, how many time did we hear more or less the same guitar solo), then it’s a complete success !

  42. Impossibly cool. They’re doing it right.

    Also, anyone who is confused by the direction their sound is taking hasn’t been paying attention. Go listen to “Angles” and “Prazes For The Young” again, and this fits right in.

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  44. Relax people, because Franky said so. Good song, not great, but I’m intrigued nonetheless. Go Team Strokes!

  45. Well that was certainly not what I was expecting. I don’t know what I was expecting, mind you, but that wasn’t it. I don’t really know what I think yet, though obviously the “Take on Me” references are apt.

    In any case, I loved Angles (at least 7 songs off of it), a great return to form after the crappy third album, so I will definitely be checking out any new one they may be preparing to give us, regardless of where I eventually come down on this.

    • I loved First Impressions of Earth. Especially Ize of The World. Just sayin’

    • FIOE wasnt crappy, it just had too many songs. cut out the middle part of that record, keep most of the end and it’s an awesome 10 song record.

      i’m curious as to which 7 songs you loved off Angles. for me, machu picchu, taken for a fool and life is simple int he moonlight are great strokes songs. under cover of darkness will get an occasional play if only for albert’s part during the chorus and the solo section. the rest of it, i wouldnt ever need to hear again. yeah, gratisfaction is catchy n stuff but i can’t get past how thin lizzy it is.

  46. It’s pretty fun. The Chorus is lovely. The falsetto works. But just as I’d love to see Radiohead continue to go into a Flying Lotus-Burial-James Blake mode, I’d like to see The Strokes lay down the synths and not be The Cars. There was a timeless beauty and immediacy of their first album ( to a lesser extend, 2nd) because it was raw primal rock and roll with great interplay between the band and great songs to boot. With their past 2 albums they’ve littered the mix with to much fruity synth programming or even needless synth flourishes. For some bands this works…but I would wonder how The White Stripes catelouge would have sounded if they took a similar route. It certainly wouldn’t have been for the better.Wish they would ditch the synths for good and hire Gordon Raphael again, go into the east village studio and make a $30,000 record in 2 days. Just my opinion folksies.

  47. Not digging the falsetto. Bad year for ‘comebacks’.

  48. This doesn’t sound like the band, sounds more like the solo work. It’s a decent track though.

  49. I don’t really care for his falsetto, particularly on the first verse where it’s mixed really low. I really like the rest of the song, though. Great to hear something with guitars in it played at that tempo. And I could probably get used to the falsetto.

    Random thought; I wonder how much of their continuing evolution has to do with keeping Casablancas from doing another solo album?

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