Post-punk revivalists Interpol hit a bit of a snag with their self-titled fourth album. It may be the case that because all efforts previous to Interpol were on the scale between solid and seminal, taking a different direction on their fourth album took them down a road that had a one nice house in a row of grey breezeblock flats.
It was scary to learn that El Pintor is just an anagram of the fourth album, because no one wants to hear the same songs repackaged and jumbled up, but thankfully El Pintor is just a name.
Thankfully too, the self-defining Interpol riffs are back. The majority of tracks have a repeatable riff that places itself in your head without consent, much like ‘Obstacle 1’ from Turn on the Bright Lights, ‘The Heinrich Maneuver’ from Our Love to Admire and ‘Narc’ from Antics.
So too are the classic Paul Banks lyrics and vocal presentation – seemingly nonsensical in subject matter, but delivered with a gruff eloquence that many try to emulate but fall short of Banks’ charm.
The chorus on ‘All the Rage Back Home’ is a great example – “I keep falling maybe half the time, maybe half the time, but it’s all the rage back home” – with the accompanying echoing wail of guitar noise and the impervious, machine-like drumming, the components for classic Interpol jams is complete.
A lot of the time, bands need to constantly be re-evaluating themselves to ‘revolutionise’ their sound with a bloody synthesiser, but Interpol have proved that some bands find an enjoyable success just with what their mama gave them.