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Monday, August 13, 2007

Music Review: Interpol are Repeat Offenders

Interpol have been tagged from the beginning as a sort of Joy Division retread (I hear more Echo and the Bunnymen in their sound). Unlike Joy Division though, lead singer Paul Banks shows no signs of offing himself and Interpol seems unlikely at this late date to turn into New Order. That's not to say this band doesn't have it's own merits. There are terrific songs scattered over their three albums so far, and if their latest Our Love To Admire holds fewer peaks than previous LP Antics, it also contains fewer troughs. What you get is further distillation of the Interpol sound, with some more fancy-pants production courtesy the major-label coffers. Sadly what you don't get is the crystal clear focus on the bands killer all-too secret weapons: the rhythm section of bassist Carlos Dengler and drum phenomenon Sam Fogarino. On Admire the production and arrangements conspire to drown their snap and pop in a blanket of strings, keyboards and guitars.

As I mentioned earlier there are still moments worth savoring, though they will have an air of familiarity to longtime Interpol-ites. "No I in Threesome" is a clever fucked-up relationship song, "The Heinrich Manouver" is an excellent single if a notch down from 2004's "Slow Hands", and "Mammoth" has an epic grandeur befitting it's title. Those are the highlights but the rest is perfectly fine if you can't get enough of Banks' voice and Daniel Kessler's guitar atmospherics. For those who were hoping for some development in the songwriting or playing, disappointment awaits. Interpol has their sound and they are sticking to it. Our Love To Admire merits Three out of Five Ian Curtis neckties (if you know what I mean):

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