This review was first
published on CLUAS in 2004
Other albums reviewed in 2004
A review of their album 'Antics'
Dark suited New York malcontents to give Franz and co. a run for their money.
The CLUAS Verdict? 6 out of 10.
Despite being cruelly overlooked on most Irish radio station play lists, NYC band Interpol have stirred up something of a frenzy among fans and critics alike over the last two years. Their reputation has grown thanks to word of mouth, a memorable Irish debut gig and the slow-burning success of their debut album released in 2002, 'Turn On The Bright Lights'. While the likes of Franz Ferdinand and The Libertines have been grabbing the headlines and the airwaves with their blend of early Eighties retro post-punk, Interpol have been busy working on their second album, the much anticipated "Antics".
For the uninitiated, the Interpol sound has drawn much comparison with Eighties trendsetters Joy Division. With many bass-driven songs of loss and isolation and, in lead vocalist Paul Banks, eerily touching delivery of songs reminiscent of the late Ian Curtis, it is not difficult to see why.
For fans of "Turn On The Bright Lights", "Antics" does not represent a massive shift in style from the debut and there is much to savour over the album's forty minutes. Of the opening tracks, 'Evil' makes the greatest impression, while 'Slow Hands' and 'Not Even Jail' raise the tempo with their pop-goth tunefulness. The highlights arrive in the guise of C'mere, a punchy paean to unrequited love ("You're in love with someone else, it should be me") and 'Length of Love', a sinister feast of organ and angular guitar. Those listening to Interpol for the first time may be put off by several mid-tempo chuggers littering the album's ten tracks. While there are interesting sonic moments on every song, sometimes the end product is not cohesive enough, and the song meanders in to alternative easy listening. There are also moments to test the stomachs of even the most hardened romantic (see 'Public Pervert' -"If time is my vessel, then learning to love might be my way back to sea").
"Antics" was recorded in the same studio and by the same personnel as its predecessor, but this time round the production seems over-indulgent. On the whole, the album lacks the urgency and bite of their 2002 effort, but is by no means a bad record. With a little more exposure and the possibility of some strong singles on this album, who knows what Interpol might achieve with their Antics. The current horde of post-punkers may be glancing uneasily over their shoulders at the progress of Interpol over the coming months, and any success they achieve would certainly not be undeserved.
Check out an alternate review of Interpol's album 'Antics'.