‘Rolling Stone’: The Strokes “Return To Form” With “Under Cover of Darkness”

by Eric Van Dril · 50 comments

"Thank you for complimenting my vowels, sir."

UPDATE: The art for “Under Cover of Darkness” can be seen here. (Thanks, Deirg) UPDATED

“Under Cover of Darkness” is allegedly scheduled for official radio release on Feb. 9, but the media received the song today.

The first non-Twitter review of the first single off Angles I’ve seen is from Rolling Stone and they — as we all hoped — love the shit out of it.

The following is the first half of the review.

(Read the entire review here.)

The lead single from the first new Strokes record in five years barrels into the bar with “Return to Form” written on its forehead. “Under Cover of Darkness” takes the basic elements of their sound, breaks it down, builds it back up and expands it: the skinny-tie boogie bounce of “Last Nite,” wave after wave of cute and sharp interlocking guitar, and a grand, gaping chorus where Julian Casablancas torments his vowels like he’s got them trapped in his secret basement laboratory.

A leak is close. I can feel it.

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 thevigilanteoflove January 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Wow. This is really, really good news. A four star review? I’m down with that. Quick question to anybody who knows. If the single is being released on the radio on February 9th, when is it available to purchase?

2 Chris January 26, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I will be visiting this site daily in hopes you find this song and any other new ones off the album before it’s released!

3 Sianna January 26, 2011 at 6:52 pm

My brain is about to explode. I can’t take it anymore, I’m about to crack.

4 wolfman January 26, 2011 at 7:01 pm

what happened to your twitter feed?

5 Agueda January 26, 2011 at 7:33 pm

i have been going on this site all week and the news has been awesome. the 15 yr-old in side of me is jumping up and down.

6 Tyler January 26, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Im glad to hear the single got a good review, but that means nothing. My relationship with the strokes is most likely very different than rolling stones’. Regardless, the better news is that this song is in more peoples hands now so i strongly agree that a leak is coming soon.

I will be searching night and day until this single has been found and listened to.

7 wolfman January 26, 2011 at 9:10 pm

it’s really weird they haven’t released the album art yet…

8 Philip January 26, 2011 at 11:47 pm

true that^ this media storm has no image to rally around

9 Ibrahim January 27, 2011 at 3:11 am

“Tricky tempo changes”… I like that :p

10 kylma January 27, 2011 at 3:32 am

Trick, Trick, Trick … Oh Anxiety!

11 Brian Wallace January 27, 2011 at 6:36 am

I know, in 2011, this is like asking if they’re going to be releasing “Angles” on cassette, but will there be a physical single for “Under Cover of the Darkness?” When “Juicebox” was released, it was advertised at Best Buy for $0.99. And because of that it hit number one on some Billboard chart. Maybe the “CD single” sales chart? Maybe they’ll do something like that again and add a cool B-side like “Hawaii.”


12 Halberto January 27, 2011 at 7:27 am

Ok, good news… But it’s becoming a real torture to have only informations and no music…..-_-

13 Brent January 27, 2011 at 7:47 am

I don’t think in my 29 years on Earth I’ve ever looked forward to hearing a song this much…

14 Philip January 27, 2011 at 7:51 am

a 4 of 5 from rolling stone isnt phenomenal, but those old timers dont know greatness when its sitting right in front of them. I imagine the smaller/foreign magz/blogs will review it well and help build hype, but i wonder what the hipster gatekeeper p4k will have to say? bnm?

15 Mary Shea January 27, 2011 at 8:59 am

lol @ your photo caption

16 patrick January 27, 2011 at 11:33 am

I thought it said ‘Julian torments his bowels like…’ which i thaught was a very strange image to project…

17 Sak January 27, 2011 at 12:35 pm

I’m glad i’m not the only one who is obsessed with finding this song. I’ve never been more excited for an album to come out in my life!

18 Jay January 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm

For the love of god, someone leak this f’ing song and hook me up! There’s a foot of snow outside… I should be stuck inside listening to it on a loop all day.

Get on this, people!

19 john January 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm

second that.

20 wolfman January 27, 2011 at 5:30 pm

third that.

21 Deirg January 27, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Ummmm… Eric? I don’t know if this is the real deal BUT the strokes fans have the album art for Under Cover of Darkness out on Twitter!! It’s pretty rad… I hope it’s the real thing!

22 Deirg January 27, 2011 at 6:12 pm
23 Philip January 27, 2011 at 7:02 pm

hey that looks pretty sweet, could you give me the link to the twitter feed or whatever? thanks

24 Steph January 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm

It looks very Warren Fu-y…looks legit!

25 Deirg January 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm
26 Lorraine January 28, 2011 at 2:27 am

@ jay: for real!!! even in the Philippines it’s so friggin’ cold…listening to a single would be a consolation..:D

27 wolfman January 28, 2011 at 3:06 am

it looks cool, but i wish he used a different font for “the strokes”. it looks a bit chubby compared to what’s around it.

28 Mr. Met January 28, 2011 at 6:04 am

Nope, “under cover of darkness” is never said. The best I can make out: “Slid back, out of whack, and your past, it’s a nightmare. so I’m joining the army…[fast bit I can’t understand: “we got the right and if I have to use it got everything and you can just choose it.” or something] i won’t just be a puppet on a string…[chorus]don’t go that way, I’ll wait for you, and I’m tired of all your friends, listening at your door…so long my friend, we’re not the same, but I’ll wait for you [/chorus]…get dressed, jump out of bed, into a past. are you okay? I’ve been all around this town and everyone’s been singing the same song for ten years [chorus] and they sacrifice their lives in light of what goes on [solo] …I’ve said it a billion times and I’ll say it again, so long my friend…” Interpret away.

29 patrick January 28, 2011 at 7:38 am

mr met…

Is it any good? what previous strokes song is it like? throw me a bone man.

30 Juice January 28, 2011 at 8:29 am

*stares at Mr. Met’s comment with a murderous glare* HOW’D YOU GOT TO LISTEN TO IT?! and yeah! do you like the song? *is curious as heckkkk*

31 Philip January 28, 2011 at 9:05 am

hold Mr.Met down while I take the song from him!!!

32 Brent January 28, 2011 at 11:12 am

Leak, bitch! LEAK!

33 Tyler January 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm

AHH!! the lack of this song is afflicting my well being.

34 jj January 28, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Leak dammit leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaak.

35 Brian Wallace January 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Jeez! Is this what it has come to? I don’t want to be the tsk-ing school marm, but February 9th is only 12 days away. THINK of ALL the things you could do in those 12 days instead of whining about how you can’t hear “Under Cover of the Darkness.” You could write a short story. Start to learn an instrument. Start to learn a language. Lose a couple pounds. Read a book you’ve always wanted to. Discover a new band/artist that you might even like as much as The Strokes. Time is precious. Don’t waste it crying about how you can’t hear some song. If you’re THAT desperate for it, then “Under Cover…” will bound to be disappointing. You’ve waited over five years. You can wait another 12 days.


36 jj January 28, 2011 at 2:08 pm


37 patrick January 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm

brian, shut up man. the condenscending tone does not behoove you. i’ll do what i bloody well want.

38 jj January 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm


39 Me January 29, 2011 at 10:38 pm

I cant waiiiiit!

40 Deirg January 30, 2011 at 11:58 am

Haha Brian! it’s sooo true though… I totally feel the same way!

41 Laura February 1, 2011 at 8:27 am


42 Jimena February 6, 2011 at 3:36 pm

MR MET CAN YOU SEND ME A LINK of the song ??
thanks, greetings!

43 Jim February 6, 2011 at 8:40 pm

yo if any one hasnt gotten a chance to check this out theyve released a sample of Under Cover of Darkness on amazon…i like it so heres the link if you want to check it out 🙂


44 Mr. Met February 7, 2011 at 12:04 am

A-Side: Under Cover of Darkness
B-Side: you guys can figure out!
Stay tuned..

45 Cory February 7, 2011 at 12:03 pm

@Mr. Met

Are you really Juian? If so, tell em this isn’t true mannnnnn



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