Within the the 30-day radius surrounding the release of First Impressions Of Earth — the Strokes’ third album, which turned 10 yesterday — the band was featured prominently in just about every publication that was able to score some access. They were on the covers of Spin and NME; they were on the cover of New York Magazine, accompanied by a massive profile written by Jay fucking McInerney, the author of Bright Lights, Big City. It wasn’t easy to get an interview with the Strokes in 2006, because in 2006, the Strokes were an event.
As far back as May 2001, months before the release of their first album, the Strokes-obsessed NME declared that the New York City group were “going to save rock,” that they would “change your life — forever!” And First Impressions Of Earth was the Strokes’ biggest album to date — their biggest in terms of budget, in terms of size, in terms of ambition, in terms of expectation. As The New York Times put it in their review of the LP: “The Strokes have something to prove … and they outdo themselves. First Impressions Of Earth is their most openly impassioned album.”