Is This It, the 2001 debut from the Strokes, kickstarted a garage-rock revolution that defined American music from 2001 through 2005. Featuring taut rhythms, frentic tempos, scruffy grooves, melodic hooks, cool-toned vocals, choppy riffs, backstreet attitude, and twitchy arrangements that equally reference Motown, American punk, new wave, and funk, the album is a watershed document that takes off on the influences of James Brown, Television, and the Yardbirds and creates something entirely fresh, new, and irresistible.
Arriving on a wave of well-earned hype rooted in tight chops and a confident swagger, The Strokes offer a Rock & Roll antidote to the plague of boy bands, teen divas, and petulant rap-rock outfits. Despite this quintet's prep-school background, their sound comes from the same primordial ooze that spawned Big Apple legends like the New York Dolls and the Velvet Underground. Clocking in at 36 minutes, IS THIS IT packs it's perfect length with stellar songs that draw inspiration from all over the map.
With all the media hype that dogged The Strokes before the release of their debut album, it's rather apt that they chose the title Is This It. On the strength of just five songs released on two singles, the Strokes were being hailed as everything from the saviors of rock & roll to the Savior himself. Surely, few bands could live up to the impossibly high standards set for this young five-piece, but the band needn't have worried: Is This It is one of the most exciting and energetic debut albums to spring from New York's long-dormant club scene.