Let’s just get it out of the way: “Under Cover of Darkness” is exactly what every Strokes fan has spent the past five years waiting for. But that doesn’t mean it’s a great song. The rush of media coverage surrounding the band in recent months has uniformly touted the forthcoming Angles as a return to form, and “Darkness” is certainly evidence of this. The guitar riff is pure “Someday”–style funk, the vocals are weighed down by a desperate nostalgia and a delightfully simple Albert Hammond Jr. guitar solo glides smack through the middle.
This formula, effective yet overused, makes it hard to listen to “Darkness” without wondering whether the Strokes’ “rock revolution” will be able to sustain an entire album in 2011. But for now, at least, it’s refreshing to hear The Strokes creating well–oiled, tight rock songs again — whether they display a sense of ingenuity or not.