Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas has been highly active in music. Not with the Strokes but with The Voidz who just released their second album, Virtue.

Julian Casablancas bounces around projects when he’s not singing in the Strokes. Starting his solo career under his own name releasing his only solo album, Phrazes for the Young (2009). In 2013 he started a new project “Julian Casablancas + the Voidz” (now renamed The Voidz)  released their debut Tyranny (2014), a darker, heavier, faster tone and a massive departure from the Strokes.

Tyranny was met with mixed reception, some found the experimentation for Casablancas to be a step in the right direction while others thought Julian should stick to the New York garage rock that made him famous. The Voidz’ latest album strikes a balance between the accessible garage pop songs Julian is known for, and heavy experimentation that makes Virtue an engaging album from start to finish.

The Voidz bring great talent to the stage, aside from Julian’s famous vocals, drummer Alex Carapetis’ style is much more creative than the bland drummer Fab Moretti from the Strokes. Guitarists Jeremy “Beardo” Gritter and Amir Yaghmai make a great pair. Gritter’s creative sporadic playstyle mixes well with Yagahmi’s structured sound for a great dynamic.

Something could be said about all 15 tracks on Virtue, but the album cycles from the experimental punk tracks the Voidz are known for, to softer tracks, and something in between. The tracks that fall into these three categories are unique and don’t become duplicates.

“Leave it in my Dreams” opens the album, carrying a Strokes sound, making it an appropriate introduction to new listeners. “QYURRYUS” (pronounced curious) is the opposite in a good way, this is very much a Voidz track, it goes all over the place and can’t really be described, it’s easily the strongest track on the album. “Think before you drink” sounds like a demo due to its simplicity, it’s just Julian and an acoustic guitar in a somber melody.

Virtue has something to offer for everyone. If you’ve been disappointed with the Strokes’ recent releases, wanted more from what Tyranny brought to fans, or just want something completely new, you absolutely have to give Virtue a listen.

Recommended If You Like: The Strokes, Ariel Pink, Julian Casablancas
Recommended Tracks: 1 (Leave It In My Dreams), 2 (QYURRYUS), 3 (Pyramid Of Bones), 4 (Permanent High School), 7 (All Wordz Are Made Up), 8 (Think Before You Drink), 9 (Wink).
Written by Karsan Turner on 04/5/2018

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