The ever-present longing of Paul Banks’ unmistakable baritone hits all the right notes on Interpol’s self-titled fourth album. His gothic wails dissect with precision on top of reverbed guitars, stellar drums, layered piano and synths. The moody atmospherics of Interpol were recorded prior to Carlos D leaving the band and his signature bass lines, which remain among the most intriguing in modern rock, are among the record’s many high points.
Interpol stands apart from the band’s previous releases by way of sonic experimentation while maintaining the brilliant melody and verve that has garnered them such a fervent following over the past decade. Those disappointed with the stylistic departure of 2007’s Our Love To Admire will be pleased with the direction taken on the new record thanks in part to the wizardry of mixer Alan Moulder. Piano-laced tracks like “Memory Serves” and “Summer Well” contain a fullness of sound worthy of both introspection and radio play.
The richly-textured, shoegazey theatrics of the record’s earlier acts give way to a somber, album-closing triptych punctuated by the chaotic bilingual cries of “The Undoing.” A lazy chorus or two (e.g. “Barricade”) stand as the only missteps among the ten tracks. Banks leads his dark orchestra with aplomb on Interpol’s most cohesive effort since Turn On The Bright Lights.
Song you will remember in five years: “Memory Serves”