A good indie rock record which could have been more.
Albert Hammond, Jnr’s third solo album, Momentary Masters, is a record filled with relaxed and upbeat, if unspectacular, summer songs. It’s been seven years since the last solo release from The Strokes guitarist and the influence of the band’s intervening 2013 Comedown Machine is particularly noticeable across the album.
As one might expect from Hammond, the guitar work is the standout strength of the album. At times reminiscent of the incredible hooks he was playing in the early 2000s; ‘Caught By My Shadow’ is an absolute gem as is ‘Drunched In Crumbs’ and closer ‘Side Boob’. For each gem there are lacklustre offerings with ‘Touché’ being the worst offender.
The album is a mixed bag, where one song is exciting the next is bland indie rock, and the strongest material sounds doesn’t show anything distinctive from Hammond. There are some catchy choruses, in ‘Power Hungry’ which also boasts probably the best lyrics of the album “I thought I belonged to something/ Walking up stairs gets me down”. It could all fit into the later works of The Strokes back catalogue. Though that is no bad thing there are moments within the album which suggest Hammond wanted to go try something new – the chorus on opener ‘Born Slippy’ and ‘Don’t Think Twice’ teasing a sun soaked dream pop vibe; by far and away the most refreshing track on the album.
Momentary Masters is a an enjoyable record, especially if you are longing for an album which sounds like early Strokes work- definitely have a listen to ‘Caught By My Shadow’, but for the same reason it is disappointingly safe. The moments of promise are too short lived for this to be anything truly exceptional.
Momentary Masters is out now via Vagrant Records.