Release Date: Oct 8, 2013
Record label: Cult Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock
During the five years between AHJ and ¿Como Te Llama?, Albert Hammond, Jr. completed rehab and reunited with the Strokes for two albums, 2011's Angles and 2013's Comedown Machine. It's hard not to feel that this work ethic rubbed off on his solo career: Hammond made AHJ an EP instead of another full-length in order to showcase his best songs -- a markedly different approach than he took on his previous solo work, where his let-it-all-hang-out aesthetic was a big part of the charm.
The ghost of Lester Bangs is whispering in my ear that he really digs AHJ, Albert Hammond Jr’s EP, and that of course the Strokes are his kind of band, with the black leather jackets, the guitars, the cigarettes, the girls, the attitude, the music. He thinks AHJ is pretty, pretty good considering how everything else seems to be going in these last bloated days watching the rotting corpse of capitalism decompose. Lester says ultimately they’ll be some big winners and big losers but as long as there’s still someone putting out some gritty rock and roll music as a soundtrack to the times it doesn’t really matter, and that if he was still alive he’d almost certainly be the sixth member of the Strokes, although he worries he may fall out with Casablancas from time to time.
Albert Hammond Jr. is not the most popular Stroke, nor the most rock-star-stylish, nor the one who attracts an inordinate amount of popular comedic actresses, nor even the quiet one. But he is nonetheless the Strokesiest of the Strokes—if you were to ever dress up as a Stroke for Halloween, you’d be copping Hammond’s one-size-too-small thrift-store sports jacket, skinny tie, Chuck Taylors, and hair photoshopped off of Billy Ficca's head on the first Television album cover.
It’s been five years since we’ve heard from everyone’s favorite floppy-haired Stroke in solo form. Since 2008’s hit-and-miss Como Te Llama?, Albert Hammond, Jr. has not only released two albums with his day job band, he got sober after an ugly battle with heroin and Oxycontin. This rebirth comes in the form of an album, his clean slate temperament palpable on a five-song comeback EP simply titled AHJ.