Review Summary: If you want another "Is This It" over and over again, why are you still listening to new Strokes? Just put that back into your CD player and leave them alone.
There are two kinds of Strokes fans: Fans of the straightforward rocking of their first two albums, and fans of the more experimental work that came with "Angles" and "Comedown Machine."
Both kinds seem endlessly locked in a battle over what The Strokes sound really is. "Future Present Past" seems to firmly answer this question with a "Whatever the hell we want it to be."
The Strokes got a lot of crap ever since "First Impression of Earth" for making music that didn't sound exactly like "Is This It", like "Room on Fire" did, with the exception of "Reptilia." Ever since then, they directly seemed to play against their self-made stereotype of sound and consistently have delivered music that is both experimental and unique sounding. Rather than thrashing around, the music began to becoming more mature and dark, but still retaining a clever rock sensibility.
"Future Past Present" directly combats this stereotype by making music that fits directly into the era that the listener perceives the sound should come from. "Drag Queen" is throbbing and heavy, with a large mix of textures and sounds not heard yet in Strokes music, hinting that this is what we can come to expect from the act in the Future. "OBLIVIOUS" shows the more electronica-inspired side of the Strokes, with a dark and edgy sound prevailing over the stereotype of sunny synths, much like their Present work has shown. "Threat of Joy" sounds like it really could have been plugged into either of their first two albums, albeit it's more inspired musically in terms of variation and musicianship. This show of their Past only proves to highlight how far they've come since their last EP, "The Modern Age."
In the end, "Future Present Past" will only appeal to the second type of Strokes fan. Those that don't think about their music in a box, and those that value musical growth and variation over stagnation and repetition. Fans of both eras may find something to like in this EP, but it takes an open mind to appreciate the whole thing as an entire package.