September 9, 2010

Test Spins: Interpol

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After a three year hiatus, New York based indie band, Interpol, has returned with their fourth album. This self-titled record has some striking moments but is rather tedious throughout, and unfortunately those bland moments outweigh the memorable ones. Unlike Interpol’s debut masterpiece, Turn on the Bright Lights and their acclaimed sophomore release Antics, the band seems to be struggling to find something they once had. The signature sound that Interpol exhibited on their first two albums either appears to be played out or less interesting within their new material, noticeable within Interpol’s third release, Our Love to Admire. The fourth album, Interpol, however, explores some new territory with sound but fails to have the natural grittiness that they’ve expressed in the past. Tracks like “Summer Well” and “Try It On” have delicate synthesizers overlapped with bouncing pianos, but somehow ends up eclipsed by moody guitar riffs. Once again, lead vocalist and guitarist, Paul Banks, manages to illustrate his poetic writing abilities through literature, personal experience and human emotion.

Interpol also incorporates other more experimental elements with “Always Malaise (The Man I Am).” This track is a charming piece of beautified rhythmic pianos and synthesizers that flow in and out of different drum patterns. Their first single, “Lights,” begins with depressed guitar strings that slowly progress into a fluent race between rumbling instruments matched with Banks’ howling vocals. What starts off as something insignificant soon becomes a brilliant mess of weaving guitars and echoing vocals.

In the end, Interpol has managed to pull off another successful album and disappointingly it seems as if they’ve played it safe with this one. This self-titled album is a delight at times but leaves us with nothing new to experience, missing the mark with exploration. If you’re an avid fan of Interpol then you will definitely appreciate this record, otherwise, you may be a little dissatisfied.


Original Author: Justin Balcom