I’ve long been an Interpol fan, and like most fans, i was looking forward to the new record! I was also distraught at the thought of an Interpol without Carlos D. He announced his departure after finishing the new album earlier this year, but more on that in a bit.

The first video was released for the song “Lights”, and i panned it. The song and the video were both Interpol-by-numbers, and it left me more than a little concerned for what the album might sound like…

The next song that i heard was “Barricade”. This time they made a great video, but the song itself was even weaker than “Lights”! Sounds like a bad INXS b-side…

Needless to say, by the time Interpol (the album) was released, i really couldn’t be bothered to give a shit. However, i finally gave it a chance, and i’ve managed to listen to it many times by now, so here is my breakdown (I’ll keep it short, don’t worry…)

1. Success
Decent opening track. Not as powerful or as interesting as the previous 3 openers, but not bad…

2. Memory Serves
I kind of like this one. Actually it sounds quite a bit like one of my personal favorite bands; And Also The Trees… The end of this song is particularly good, and the drumming is, as always, wonderful…

3. Summer Well
Starts off a bit blah, but about half way through becomes quite good. This song is maybe the clearest example of why this band should not exist without Carlos D. His playing and arrangement is magnificent…

4. Lights
Crap song, Crap video

5. Barricade
Crap song, Great video

Now here is where the album gets great, and another great reason to buy vinyl. Why? Because i can just put on side 2 in perpetuity, much like Eno’s “Before And After Science”

6. Always Malaise (The Man I Am)
Paul Banks’ infatuation with his own sexual exploits not withstanding, this is truly beautiful. Minor chords and an unorthodox chord progression make this one of the best tracks to ever bare the Interpol brand…

7. Safe Without
Brilliant drumming and perfect bass playing. Carlos D. knows when and when not to play. That’s something lost of most bass players for sure…

8. Try It On
More And Also The Trees is a good thing. I’m sure the cognoscenti can find a way to compare this with Joy Division though… Great lyric, great drumming, nice piano loop thang…

9. All Of The Ways
This is probably the song most like Interpol’s debut collection. Not the strongest track, almost sounds like a demo, but not so bad it can sink the brilliant ship that is the second half of this album…

10. The Undoing
Maybe my favorite track of all. Dare i say it’s like a ray of sunshine after the last track? Yes, that’ll do. The spanish bit is a lovely touch as well…

Bottomline.
Good album, not great, though worth the price of admission for the 2nd half.

Advice to Interpol.
Get Carlos D. back or call it a day. No one can do what he has done for you.
Option?
Complete change of direction… Maybe it’s time for that electronic-dance record?

ToeZoo loves you…

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Comments
  1. A mention for And Also The Trees – far too few, and far too far apart. Without doubt the greatest ‘English’ band ever. Justin’s guitar work is hugely under-acknowledged as it has been the influence behind an entire movement in rock music.
    I tend to agree with your comments about the Interpol record too. Antics is a personal favourite – some powerful songs.

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