The Strokes issued their third LP "First Impressions Of Earth" in early '06. Once the tours were completed it must have seemed like a good idea to take some time off.
To fill the void, guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. recorded "Yours To Keep" which was released in the fall of '06. But as the break extended, Hammond issued his second solo album, '08's "Como Te Llama?." When the dust settled from Hammond's projects, drummer Fabrizio Moretti stepped out with his own venture, the eclectic Little Joy.
With The Strokes' fourth album still nowhere in sight, bassist Nikolai Fraiture, not wanting to be left out of the side-project derby, launched Nickel Eye (a pun on his first name). "The Time Of The Assassins," was the group's '09 debut.
2009 The Time Of The Assassins
Fraiture is a moody, forlorn sounding singer. That style fits well within the confines of Nickel Eye's low-key album.
Obviously, this is not a knock-off of The Strokes. Still, there are a few tracks that could have found a home on a Strokes effort - but many more that likely wouldn't.
"This Is The End" sounds like a '66 Doors' demo while "Dying Star" is filled with guitar noise and echo. Fraiture and company go back to the '60s again, this time using the Kinks as a touchstone, for "Another Sunny Afternoon." There's also "Brandy Be Damned," a jaunty track with a light Reggae feel.