Released July 31, 2015

By Rose Morris

Albert Hammond Jr., best known for his role as guitarist in critically-acclaimed rock band The Strokes, has proven time and again that he can hold his own as a solo artist, so it comes as no big surprise that his latest album is another musical triumph. The album, titled Momentary Masters, showcases Hammond’s classic rock roots as well as his modern, indie-rocker tendencies.

The first track, titled Born Slippy (no, it’s not a cover of the iconic Underworld song of the same name) - which is also the first single released from Momentary Masters - has all the makings of a major hit with its catchy hook and masterfully layered instruments. This is one of those songs you’ll want to listen to on repeat for hours on end.

This album is made up of track after track of upbeat, fresh indie-rock (think trippy layers, clean percussion, and super polished electric guitar) and doesn’t lose steam. However, Hammond clearly has a base in classic rock from the 1970’s, which is probably most obvious in his sumptuous vocals. Hammond’s voice is simultaneously warbling and smooth-as-silk, almost like a human wah-wah pedal.

Hammond’s classic roots show their face again in his cover of Bob Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice (track six), which comes as a surprise after the ultra-modern indie kid vibe of the preceding tracks, but it is a welcome one. Now, covering a Bob Dylan song is a serious risk. In many ways it’s a natural thing to do, since Dylan himself built his entire career on covering old folk standards, but tunes like Don’t Think Twice hold such a dear place in the hearts of so many that tampering with them in any way can come off as disappointing or even downright offensive. Despite all this, Hammond does a good job of maintaining the integrity of the original song while adding his own unique twist. It is obvious that Hammond has a special place in his heart for Dylan and consequently gives the song appropriate reverence.

Momentary Masters is the perfect thing to jam out to on your end-of-summer road trip. With its fast-paced indie vibe, impeccable vocals and clean instrumental layering, it’s sure to keep everyone in the car happy and ready for an adventure. Turn it up and get down.