Nickel Eye

Three of the five members of the Strokes have capitalized on the band's success with side projects. Guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. released a pair of solo albums, and drummer Fabrizio Moretti's band Little Joy released a stellar self-titled album last year. Most recently, bassist Nikolai Fraiture formed the band Nickel Eye, since the Strokes were taking a longer-than-expected hiatus. Fraiture took an old shoebox of poems and rants written a few years ago and began adapting them to music, and some of those songs ended up on The Time of the Assassins, slated for a January 27 release on Rykodisc. With some help from the London-based band South and some guest appearances by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Regina Spektor, the group completed the album in a few months. "Brandy From Exile," one of its standout cuts, is a catchy, ska-flavored jaunt, while "Back From Exile" recalls Bob Dylan's "Hurricane."

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