Interpol is one of those bands that know how to make noise without making a big fuss. Having released four studio albums and two EPs so far, Interpol represents the post-punk movement rather bravely considering that they are not The Cure, Joy Division or Echo & The Bunnymen. On the other hand, their releases often cause turbulence, dividing people, even creating enemies. Nevertheless, playing for an independent company, Matador, which strives against fierce competition from multinational record companies like RCA, Interpol are a unique case of band that certainly requires attention; for better or worse.
Is Interpol undervalued?
Although Interpol is one of the most important alternative bands of the late 90s, they have never really received the credit they deserve. Their early work “Turn on the Bright Lights” (2002) and “Antics” (2004) resembles more to Joy Division with ample instrumentation and original lyrics. Of course Banks’ lyrics cannot possibly approach the magnitude of Ian Curtis’ poetry, but it’s a great effort, especially considering the bunch of useless lines that are around since indie and alternative rock became contemporary and more commercial.
Interpol’s third album “Our Love to Admire” (2007) has established them as a group with a unique sound and subtle lyrics. The group has, in effect, created art and although they haven’t made any #1 chart, Interpol is a distinct musical entity without bearing the genius or the appeal of other post-punk groups.
Is Interpol divisive?
As a matter of fact, Interpol is a band capable of creating as fans as haters.
People with the patience to pay full attention to Interpol’s music can listen to their songs repeatedly until they can sense the splendor of their sound. To them, since the release of “Turn on the Bright Lights” (2002), Interpol is a great alternative band with a haunting echo. They may not be musically adventurous, but they certainly know how to create music. Their brilliant, moody melodies and Banks’ vocal inflections are widely regarded as capable of switching up the group’s direction enough to keep things moving. And although Interpol doesn’t have the luxury of a multinational record label, it has the soul that keeps things alive at first glance.
On the other hand, for many people, Interpol lack instrumental technique, their lyrics are awkward and Banks is fixated with a typical, monotonous, moody performance that doesn’t really distinguish Interpol as a band. It rather constantly reminds of another group, be it Joy Division, be it Oasis, be it Depeche Mode, but, in any case, they are not something to be remembered for as unique. For the most extremists, Interpol is a horrible band that doesn’t deserve to be labeled “indie” or “alternative” as they lack creativity and refuse to experiment with new sounds. Although each song in every record seems to starting off as unique, in the process the guitar accords are established and the listener loses interest quite quickly.
“Interpol” is one of Interpol’s greatest works
For the fans of the group, “Interpol” (2010) is one of their greatest works. Released on September 7, 2010, “Interpol” is the group’s fourth studio album that amply features the established prescription of Paul Banks’ idiosyncratic baritone anchored by metrical guitars and moody melodies. However, this time, Interpol seems a bit more creative producing pure, post-punk sounds of the 80s.
“Success”, the album’s opening track is a brilliant indie song featuring emotional bassline. Strong, semi-joyful, and emotionally fragile, “Success” seems to be the best choice for an opening track, because, with the exception of “Always Malaise (The Man I Am)”, all other tracks of “Interpol” are over six or even seven minutes. Besides, the majority of the album tracks are moody, yet impressive and powerful. Other tracks that are worth listening to are “Memory Serves”, “Try It On”, “Lights” and “The Undoing”.
Overall, Interpol is not what one would call “an easy listening” band. Their music requires dedication, time and effort to get into the details and realize the melody, chords or the lyrics. As a matter of fact, the New York group has rightly earned its place in the highest ranks of the neo post-punk groups because of its unique sound. Those who cannot see that are simply denying a pure fact: easy listening bands are quickly trashed, yet Interpol are still here selling their records, supporting great bands like U2 or The Cure, and selling out their own shows. Interpol makes great music and has a special kind of fans. Besides, they didn’t imitate anyone. They simply took Joy Division’s successful edges and made them more depressed, more urban, and more up to their era instilling a post-millennium essence that could more easily fit to New York hipster nightspots. Oh well, this is not crime, is it?