Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nickel Eye - The Times of The Assasins

I seriously wonder just how talented those five New Yorkers are? Just like most of the rest of the band, Nikolai Fraiture, always seen as the "quiet one' in The Strokes, has embarked upon a side-project release valve for songs he’s been accumulating. Known as Nickel Eye, Nikolai creates The Times of The Assasins, a mid-‘70s funk, country, blues and rock record, which sounds different from any Strokes' material.

In general the album uses an acoustic approach, giving it a shuffling, laid-back country vibe. Only a Stroke could combine ethnic folk and American Country and pull it off. The true highlight of the album has to be the ska-influenced "Brandy of the Damned” which its groovy basslines have more hooks than a fisherman's hat. However, it’s definitely not all about the bass. Nikolai jumps from the whistle-led "This Is The End" to "Another Sunny Afternoon"with cheerful harmonicas and an folksy upbeat guitar riff, as well as a beautiful moment of piano ballad "Where the Cold Wind Blows”, with special apperance from Regina Spector. Each song in the album is a unique gem.

Although The Time of the Assassins is definitely not a substitute for The Strokes' fourth record, it is an interesting insight into the creative mind of another member of the band. If songwriting was to become more of a democracy in the Strokes, maybe the creative possibilites of their next album could see them once again upping the bar. Can't hardly wait!

Nickel Eye - Another Sunny Afternoon
Nickel Eye -
This Is The End
Nickel Eye -
Where The Cold Wind Blows

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