Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr Can we please just agree that the ‘80s revivalism movement has run its course and move onto something else? I mean, I totally get why veteran indie rockers who grew up in the Spandex Decade try so hard to bring back the angular guitars, drum machines and cheesy synths of their youths. It’s the same reason I sometimes enjoy watching *Nsync videos on YouTube: nostalgia, and an inability to separate fond memories of childhood from the fact that the era they remember so fondly was a shitstorm of musical overproduction, ridiculous hairdos and Reaganism. That said, many such artists have managed to do interesting, organic-sounding things with “The ‘80s Are Back!” approach by realizing that it’s possible to make synthy dance music without putting 800 pounds of reverb on every snare hit (see Destroyer’s Kaputt for one example). But it’s getting tiresome, and I’m about ready for ‘90s kids to start influencing the direction of today’s pop and rock music. You know, people who grew up listening to the Strokes. But not Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr., who was born in 1980 and spends much of his third and latest solo album, Momentary Masters, attempting to recreate the type of music that was being made when he was five. For God’s sake, even Hammond must be getting bored with the ‘80s revival, because he gives up on it halfway through the record and starts writing songs that sound like early Strokes outtakes. In fairness, the danceable throwback vibe of the album’s first half may have something to do with the fact that Hammond wrote a terrific ‘80s pop-style song that could have been a hit had it been released 30 years ago. Lead single “Born Slippy” is thankfully not a cover of the 1995 Underworld hit, but an infectious web of weaving guitar and vocal hooks that keep building on each other even when it seems like there couldn’t possibly be any more space for them. It’s the kind of song an artist can build an entire album around, and Hammond tries, attempting a similar clubby rhythm section/jittery high-pitched guitars/synth accoutrements amalgam with several other songs. It mostly works on the reinvention of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” which replaces Dylan’s famous acoustic fingerpicking pattern with a succession of catchy electric licks that make up for Hammond’s distractingly affected, almost jokey vocal delivery. But it doesn’t so much on “Power Hungry” and “Coming To Getcha,” which lack the level of melodic construction found on “Born Slippy.” Perhaps recognizing these diminishing returns, by the time Momentary Masters reaches its midway point with an (actually very good) power pop song called “Losing Touch,” the vibe and the guitar tone completely change in way that will sound more familiar to Strokes fans. Not that the second half of Momentary Masters is just Is This It 2: Turns Out That Wasn’t It. That’s down largely to Hammond’s voice, a nasal manic whinge that stands in contrast to Julian Casablancas’ blasé baritone. Combined with other factors like bouncy tempos and a few moments of irreverence (the last song is called “Side Boob” and there’s a sampled intro to “Born Slippy” involving the phrase “Miss Cleo, bitch!” for instance), the album is sprightlier than a typical Strokes album. But the whole thing just sort of breezes by, sounding vaguely familiar without any memorable new hooks.