Albert Hammond Jr
WHILE the latest album by The Strokes percolates slowly in the hands of producer Rick Rubin, the New York band’s guitarist Alberthammond Jr – son of songwriting royalty Albert Hammond Sr–has busiedhimself with his sparky solo career, including a new album, Francis Trouble, inspired by his miscarried twin brother.
He could be forgiven for indulging himself on such a topic but Hammond Jr has little time for introspection. He is a strong singer and an extrovert frontman in his own right, leaving much of the melodious guitar wrangling, spiky riffs and chiming chords to his band, while he was liberated to bounce around and testify in his snazzy gold suit.
As one of the architects of the Strokes’ irresistible sound, he hasn’t strayed too far from that joyous mix of new wave, rock’n’roll and garage punk which the band revitalised in the early 2000s. Hammond Jr supplemented this with some bubblegum elements to opening number Dvsl, followed up with all due haste by the propulsive Rude Customer and louche indie rock of Set to Attack in a nicely paced, dynamic set, characterised by memorable hooklines.
His effortless facility for melody is in the genes – Hard to Live (In The City) boasted some of the power pop resonance and emotional yearning of Hammond Sr’s best tunes – but just to reassure that he has no intention of turning into his dad, he rounded off the set with the heaviest song in his arsenal, the metallic power rocker Screamer.