The Strokes offer a bigger, more eclectic sound on their as-yet-untitled third album, due in late January via RCA. The first single from the set, "Juicebox," is driven by a heavy riff in the vein of H

The Strokes offer a bigger, more eclectic sound on their as-yet-untitled third album, due in late January via RCA. The first single from the set, "Juicebox," is driven by a heavy riff in the vein of Henry Mancini's "Theme From Peter Gunn" and an intense vocal performance from frontman Julian Casablancas, who repeatedly pleads, "Why won't you come over here?"

Eight songs sampled by Billboard.com find the Strokes stretching beyond the constraints of their prior garage rock-leaning style. As the group's manager Ryan Gentles told Billboard.com earlier this year, producer David Kahne went for a sound that is "a lot clearer and brighter. The vocals are up. David really taught Julian how to accept his voice and hear it over the top of the mix."

Casablancas adopts a Patti Smith/Tom Verlaine vocal delivery for the upbeat, soul-tinged "I'll Try Anything Once," and offers close-miked confessions ("I've got nothing to give / Got no reason to live / I will fight to survive / I've got nothing to hide / Wish I wasn't so shy") backed only by a synthesizer on "Ask Me Anything."

With a melody and rhythm along the lines of the previous single "Someday," "Razorblade" chronicles the ups-and-downs of love ("You've got to take me out at least once a week, whether I'm in your arms or I'm at your feet"), while on the snappy "Heart in a Cage," the angry narrator simply declares, "I don't want what you want / I don't feel what you feel."

Elsewhere, "Electriccityscape" blends new-wave shine with a vaguely U2-ish melody and comes up with something unexpected in the process, while "Vision of Division" is an uncharacteristically aggressive tune with a guitar solo seemingly inspired by AC/DC's "Thunderstruck."

A wall of guitars and a booming bass throttle encircles the choruses of "The Ize of the World," where Casablancas' vocals retreat below the din as the music grows in intensity.

The Strokes will return to live duty during a late October tour of South America, which begins Oct. 21 in Rio de Janeiro.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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