Albert Hammond, Jr.

Albert Hammond, Jr.

Albert Hammond, Jr.

Como Te Llama?

Black Seal

It’s been two and a half years since the last Strokes album came out and just over one year since the band announced that they would be taking “a much needed break.” Guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr. has taken that time to cultivate a career all his own. His solo debut Yours To Keep in 2007 was a bright and shining star on the musical map of that year, and rather than sit idly until Julian Casablancas and crew decided they were ready to jam again, the curly-haired Stroke went right back into the studio to make an even stronger album called Como Te Llama?

While many wanted to dismiss the musical success of his debut as a lucky fluke, or as The Strokes’ leftovers reworked with a Beach Boys influence and put out under Hammond, Jr.’s name, the sheer strength of this debut-burying sophomore effort should put any naysayers to bed. The man with the distinctive garage guitar jangle put out a record that will not only hold over Strokes fans until their next release, but will provide a wider audience with something to sink their teeth into.

The inherent love for ’60s garage rock and pop music is still at the root of this collection of songs, but there’s also a more eclectic love that encompasses reggae (“Borrowed Time”), British glam rock (“Rocket”), and atmospheric indie rock (“Victory at Monterey”). At the album’s center is a sweet little seven minute instrumental called “Spooky Couch” that feels as comforting as a mother rocking a child to sleep. When I checked the liner notes, I found Sean Lennon listed as the man behind the charming piano sounds.

Though I’m still crossing my fingers for another Strokes disc, I hope the band waits just a little bit longer to allow Albert Hammond, Jr. to do a proper tour.

Albert Hammond, Jr.: www.alberthammondjr.com

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