Interpol is an American rock band from New York City. Formed in 1997, the band’s original line-up consisted of Paul Banks(vocals, guitar), Daniel Kessler (guitar, vocals), Carlos Dengler (bass guitar, keyboards) and Greg Drudy (drums, percussion). Drudy left the band in 2000 and was replaced by Sam Fogarino. In 2010, shortly after recording finished for the band’s fourth album, Dengler left to pursue personal projects.
Having first performed at Luna Lounge along with other notable bands like The Strokes, Longwave, The National and Stellastarr, they are one of the bands associated with the New York City indie music scene, and was one of several groups that emerged from the post-punk revival of the 2000s. The band’s sound is generally a mix of staccato bass and rhythmic, harmonized guitar, with a snare heavy mix, drawing comparisons to post-punk bands such as Joy Division and The Chameleons. Aside from the lyrics, their songwriting method includes all of the band members, rather than relying on any given chief songwriter.
The band’s debut album Turn on the Bright Lights (2002) was critically acclaimed, making it to tenth position on the NME‘s list of top albums in 2002 as well as No. 1 on Pitchfork Media‘s Top 50 Albums of 2002. Subsequent records Antics (2004) and Our Love to Admire (2007) brought them greater critical and commercial success. The band released its fourth, self-titled album on September 7, 2010. The band went on hiatus from 2011 through 2012 while they focused on other projects. Their fifth studio album El Pintor was released on September 9, 2014.
All The Rage Back Home—-After such a long wait between releases, when Paul Banks distinctive voice meets your ears you are almost jubilant. Gone is the bass that was driven by Carlos, in fact, the song songs a bit treble laden…but the urgency in the voice is pure Interpol….it makes me secretly smile to myself as the song develops…a huge chorus and an almost warm feel…remarkable.
My Desire—-Sounding even more-so like the Interpol of old, there is a bit more of a familiar sound to this track. The voice is remarkable and the music comforting. I like the slight English sound to this track…and when the trademark noise kicks in….this is Interpol.
Anywhere—-Wow…what a stellar intro…the slight feedback sound, the urgent driving of the music, the baritone that delivers the dark tale. Just remarkable…there is a noticeable jangle sound to this release that is somewhat new…but the sentiment is clear…dark and miserable….I feel very at home with the whole affair!
Same Town, New Story—-One is really taken back by the difference in the musical direction that this band has taken with the lack of the Joy Division bass line that drove most of the earliest releases. This all comes across as a band making an attempt to somehow grasp the past success with out key players. That is not to say I am disappointed…but this is not the same Interpol you were familiar with.
My Blue Supreme—-Giving me a bit more of a comfort feel at the onset, even Banks deviates from his baritone for a mock falsetto that leaves me with a bit of an empty feel. Even though there are many trademark sounds to the band…this is so different that I feel somewhat disappointed and alienated by the feeble attempt to continue.
Everything Is Wrong—-Wow!!!! This is what I have been craving musically…..this is elemental…everything is in place…making an almost perfect Interpol track. I have been waiting for this song….this is brilliant. It is bass laden…urgently vocal and noisy…..remarkable…maybe they still have it!
Breaker I—-Again, the band pulls out a few tracks and surprises me. The vocal reverb is magnificent…making the song even louder than I expected it to be. The urgent almost fast vocal makes you a bit crazy as you feel it push your ears to keep up with all the many sounds. This is as close to brilliant as I have heard Interpol sound in a long time. Banks has a long career ahead of him…with or without this band.
Ancient Ways—-And then the band goes here…delivering an almost unrecognizable rendition of former glory days. This is acceptable…but it lacks feeling….almost like people going through the motions…delivering a instrumentation that makes me want to listen to the Stone Roses for some reason…this isn’t horrible…but I could never hear it again and still feel complete.
Tidal Waves—-When you give up hope and shrug your shoulders, they come out of the dark and deliver something that gives you hope for the future…this is one of those tracks…it makes me laden with dread…but somehow happy at the same time…exactly as music is supposed to do….because….MUSIC MATTERS.
Twice As Hard—-Suppressed and leaving me wondering if that was how the creation of this release without Carlos was….twice as hard.
*** out of 5