After a tumultuous period that saw the resignation of bassist Carlos Dengler, a canceled headline tour and a label switch, New York City’s Interpol looks to find some security on their latest self-titled release.
Dengler’s presence and walking bass lines are still present on this LP because he called it quits after production had been completed. Therefore, listeners cannot use “Interpol” as a true indicator of the band’s future as far as musical direction is concerned.
The leadoff song, “Success,” starts as most Interpol tunes do, with moaning and melodramatic guitar slides. The song offers a hint at the ambition behind the new album and what the band has already accomplished. Lead singer Paul Banks taunts in his monotone drawl, “I’m not supposed to show you, I’ve got two secrets, but I only told you one.”
“Barricade” is essentially a sound-alike cousin of “Slow Hands” off the band’s sophomore release, “Antics.” The song exemplifies Interpol’s classic layering of instrumentals as it starts off minimally with a beat and an “Under Pressure”-ish bass line that swells into an all-out sonic onslaught.
Malaise is the key word in “Always Malaise (The Man I Am),” a jumbled mess of tempos and chord progressions that makes it a bothersome listening experience. The track has all the makings of a well-respected Interpol song — depressing piano backdrop, ever-increasing instrumental intensity and driving cymbals, but the band fails to retain cohesiveness.
On their fourth record, Interpol has affirmed that the band is not for everyone, and it takes an acquired taste to understand and appreciate its music. However, even dedicated fans of the band may find this latest effort bland and unappealing.