This five-piece New York guitar group have receieved so much press coverage over the last few months that only an outright masterpiece could possibly justify the hype. Their debut album isn't quite that but it's still sharp and fresh enough to mark out the Strokes as one of the most exciting bands to appear in ages. Is This It opens rather awkwardly with the low-key title track, but soon picks up pace with a maelstrom of blistering guitars, catchy hooks and adrenaline-filled choruses that owe more than a passing debt to fellow Americans The Stooges and Blondie. One-dimensional stuff it may be, but when they're on form the Strokes can produce classical rock'n'roll with as much verve and style as any of their heroes.