Sign in using your account with
With the release of their debut album Turn on the Bright Lights in early 2002, American indie rock band Interpol took the New York City music scene by storm. Their unique sound stems from thumping bass and sequential guitars, which have linked them to other bands from the post-punk scene. Since their debut, though; there’s been a change in pace, and attitude for that matter.
Releasing three albums in over ten years has secured serious commercial success for the band and landed them at the top of the charts worldwide. However, their move from Matador Records to Capital in 2006 not only set them on a more serious mainstream path; but it also provided only one good track: 'Rosemary.'
In early September 2010, Interpol released their newest album, and they did so with some shameless audacity by self-titling their fourth album. Regardless of the reasoning behind such a move, Interpol’s sound cannot be ignored. However, after listening to their set of ten tracks from beginning to end, we found our anticipation completely exasperated.
The repetitious drum beats and guitar riffs in the opening track ‘Success’ don’t back the lyrics very well. Vocalist Paul Banks prides himself on being a good guy, and he continues to sing about mundane nothingness. The tambourine in tow adds a little something and lifts the song to a better place.
‘Summer Well’ introduces the listener to a bluesy, bass undertone while the smoky vocals pair well and kick off the song with a different sound. He’s begging for his lover back and it just might work.
Closing the album with a potentially moving track, ‘The Undoing’ takes us into uncharted territories with its hopeless call of regret and failure. The song seems sweet but it lacks skilled execution of their musical capabilities, or lack thereof, with its repetitious and melancholic sound.
For an eponymous album, we were expecting a little more depth and a new adventure or two; but Interpol brings little to the table. Sticking to Turn on the Bright Lights and Antics will probably be your best bet.
In eleven songs, they built a unique sound that you couldn't quite put your finger on: slow beats dressed in austerity, accompanied by enigmatic lyrics and lone wondering guitars. With a Mercury music prize under their belt and almost every music critic at their feet, they started work on their sophomore album.
But overall, this album is much less introverted. Both Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim seem to have gained confidence as singers and hone their vocal skills with more conviction then they did on their debut album.
Beatmaster Jamie xx, having built a very solid reputation as a producer in between the creation of the two albums, also steps closer to the limelight on this record. Even more songs than on the debut album are built on beats instead of a guitar riff and those beats are slightly more experimental than they previously were. There is even some steel drum - certainly not the hippest of instruments - seeping through in ‘Reunion’.
Ever since the 2012 release of their double a-side single, ‘Flying To Berlin/Husbands’, Savages have occupied an interesting space in the musical spectrums. With a mixture of old school post-punk and noise rock, they appear to be the perfect cross-section of Siouxsie and the Banshees and Swans. Their frenetic, dark, and sinisterly beautiful style has been receiving rave reviews the world over from critics and fans alike and their latest EP Adore Life is more of the same.
This is an album about love, but one would hesitate to call any of the tracks traditional love songs. Instead of falling into classic song writing tropes about how amazing love is, Savages instead approach the subject matter from a much darker perspective. This is an album about the true power of love, nd how that isn’t always a good thing.
The opening track, ‘The Answer’, heaves with energy from the get go, telling the story of an almost obsessive infatuation, with frontwoman Jehnny Beth (real name Camille Berthomier) repeating the words “If you don't love me/You don't love anybody” throughout the song just to drive home the fact that love can be a dangerous force. The hectic instrumentation provides a binary opposition to Beth’s sweet tones and is the perfect start to the record.
That is not to say that Adore Life is unrelenting in its aggression. This album is a mixture of forceful distortion, British post-punk and torch songs, and nowhere is this more apparent than on the song ‘Adore’. It’s slow, it’s bassy, it’s reverby (is that even a word?) it’s dark, but above all, beautiful. Concluding with a lyrical coda accompanied by a slow crescendo, it sounds like something you would hear in a smoky Paris café at 3AM. Make no mistakes, this is an early contender for one of the best songs of 2016.
Even towards the end of the album, they manage to keep the energy up. The penultimate track, ‘T.I.W.YG’, is almost a sequel to ‘The Answer’ in terms of style and narrative. The instrumentation provides an organised cacophony to truly drive home the fact that, this is what you get when you mess with love.
For what is only a second album, Adore Life shows a surprising maturity from the London-based female foursome. The lyrics are emotive without being contrived, the instrumentation is varied without being schizophrenic and the style is classic without being clichéd. This is more neo-post punk as opposed to post-punk revival and thank god it is, because the last thing we need is another attempt to revive a past genre. Remember the comment about the band being perfect cross-section of Siouxsie and the Banshees and Swans? This album hits the nail on the head, being equal parts a love song to the past and an ode to the fuzzy future.