Let’s face it, Interpol hasn’t been the same band since their key founding member and bassist, Carlos Dengler, left the band in 2010. Since then, Interpol has released a couple of mediocre albums, including their atmospheric dark self-titled album in 2010 and the safe “returns-to-form” El Pintor in 2014. However, given the sound of their new studio album Marauder, it looks like Interpol has redeemed themselves, releasing their most solid and consistent album in 11 years.
During their 15th anniversary tour for their superb and beloved debut album, Turn On the Bright Lights, in 2017, Interpol officially announced a new album would be released in 2018. They played a new song entitled, “Real Life,” late during their tour, which ended up being scratched from the final cut of Marauder.
Since the band was implementing their classic “Joy Division-esque” sound on the anniversary tour, they tried to bring back their original style from the noughties with producer, David Fridmann, who is responsible for the sounds of the Flaming Lips and MGMT. An odd choice for a producer indeed, since Fridmann hasn’t really dwelled in the realm of the post-punk revival style and bands he’s produced albums for share little in common with Interpol.
Interpol best captures their early style on the single, “The Rover,” which opens with a sharp and swingy single-stringed guitar, sounding like it could’ve been from the band’s excellent sophomore release, Antics in 2005. When the music finally all comes together, there is an overlaying of guitarist, Daniel Kessler’s stylish and distinctive riffs, all chaotically united. One of the riffs underlying the many, sounds like the sparkling and fast-paced riff from “Say Hello to the Angels,” a classic off Turn On the Bright Lights. Under the catchy hooks and booming and spiraling drums, frontman, Paul Banks’ vocals are full of energy. This is the track Interpol fans have been waiting for; chilling and attractive music with unapologetic lyrics.
“Stay in Touch” is an instant classic with a harsh dominant guitar riff that is unpredictable and compelling, while the soaring “NYSMAW” shares a similar melody and darkness to “Mammoth,” from Interpol’s 2007 release, Our Love to Admire.
However on Marauder, Interpol runs into a few problems: its repetitive and unfocused instrumentation, the nonexistent bass lines, and mixing choices. For example, “It Probably Matters” sounds fine after “Interlude 2,” but it’s nowhere near an exceptional closing track. And “Number 10” wanders and the sounds on that song have the potential be like three really good tracks, but the blending of all these sounds is rough and uneven.
Still with their best release in years, Interpol are finally themselves again and seem to be back on track.
Classic Tracks – “The Rover,” “Stay in Touch,” “Flight of Fancy,” “Complications” and “NYSMAW”
Ehh – “Surveillance” and “Party’s Over”
Listen to Interpol’s Marauder below.