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Gotta Tell 'Em: Your Friend's Band Is Just a Worse Version of the Strokes


Photo by Rogelio A. Galaviz C / CC BY-NC 2.0

It’s the fifth basement show of the month, and this time you promised your friend you’d stay for all of the bands, even if the moshing skater behind you spilled beer on your shoes, which happened last time and, much to your pleasure, was an excuse to leave.

Your friend’s band comes on to awkward stifled applause, introduces themselves as Single Ronny, and begins with a new song. The guitarist — dressed in an ironic ugly button-up from Goodwill — lays down a clean, even-tempo riff. Your friend enters with some whiny vocals, seemingly bored with the whole thing. Hm, you think. This sounds familiar, and they're not very good.

It clicks. Your friend’s band is just a worse version of The Strokes, who you’d started listening to last year, mistaking the new interest for a unique taste in music. They don’t quite pull off the mimicry, but certainly do not add anything new to the mix. 

You have to tell him. So, after they close with a fifth rip-off tune, you make an approach. Before you can say anything, though, the next band opens with exactly the same sound. You realize that every indie band formed after 2001 is a bad imitation of The Strokes. Your friend also just offered you the bassist role and it's finally a chance to show off the less-bland part of your personality, so you remain quiet and pretend to enjoy the music.