Interpol proves that peaking too early doesnât mean you canât bring it back.
Much in the same vein as their contemporaries, The Strokes, Interpol made their name with a stonking debut album Turn On The Bright Lights
. Much to their benefit, their debut shot them straight into the epicentre of the starriest of stardoms, but it would be fair to say that it has the tendency to barrage through records released since.
So, what does this mean for a sixth studio album? What is Marauder
To put it in terms that I understand, Marauder
is the kid at primary school who peaked at 14 because he never had to try that hard but got to 23 and realised he still worked 37.5 hours a week in Tesco and was in a relationship with a girl who he didnât love. Marauder
is that same kid that, one day, recognising what a state heâs in, throwing his meal deal in the bin and enrolling on that Business course he always wanted to do. The album proves that itâs never too late to learn from your past.
Album opener âIf You Really Love Nothingâ is swathed in a cloak of glam-rock glory. Paul Bankâs
airy vocals have a certain taste of âje ne sais quoiâ about them, lathered generously atop driving drums. Far less concerned with filling a sold-out stadium leg of a tour, Banksâ tone has passed its booming, anthemic prime but has softened to suit an album which unfolds piece by piece, never quite turning the way youâd expect. âThe Roverâ straddles the gap between seduction and fear, with guitarist Daniel Kesslerâs reverb-heavy hooks painting the picture of a charismatic cult leader wandering through unknown lands. Itâs not by any means polished in its production, with quirks that, at a first listen, make it sound like the first take of many.
There was absolutely the danger for Interpol to fall back into their early noughties ecosystem; tinged by the oblique, the moody and the sombre, but to our saving grace comes âStay in Touchâ. Sensationally sexy in its reflection on an illicit affair, Bankâs lyricism punctuates a drum rhythm which ebbs, flows and engulfs any sense of immediate urgency: âI came to see you in starlight and let electric fields yield to skin / Leave my head to spin, rush forward to leave my bed in sin.â What also strikes me is the way Banks is opening himself to lyrics which are more personable; far less are we faced with pretentious, inaccessible symbolism that leaves us scratching our heads. âMountain Childâ takes a step further into the sunlight with a buoyant melody that forces Banksâ cheery, crooning harmonies to take the helm.
âSurveillanceâ is a superior cut from Marauder
. Sprawling guitars and ever-so-subtle cymbals clash in a conflict of darkness and light, obscurity and lucidity. Bankâs vocals illustrate a story of the manipulation of human perception, dipping delicately in and out of moments of profound clarity: âBe famous but still technically fine / Falling the rain man / Great hesitations of the mind will stay / This shit is made upâ. Kesslerâs opening guitar riff for âNumber 10â is iconic; mischievous yet mature in its production, before making way for Banksâ feral verse. Again, âNumber 10â shows real growth but leaves wiggle room for juttering stops and DIY, garage rock oddities.
âs closer âIt Probably Mattersâ rounds off an album filled with unforeseen twists and turns that reflect lifeâs never-ending volatility. Nuanced slacker-rock overtones combat Interpolâs thematic focus on reckless punk-rock compulsions, but still allows for the wiry electronic melody to climax in a blaze of steel strings. A battle between impulsivity and measured caution makes for an album thatâs reflective of the human experience; rather than dwelling on what couldâve been, Interpol recognises the simple joy in creating something they like. Marauder
is a signifier of growth and maturity in understanding lifeâs ebbing and flowing energy.
Listen to Interpol 'Marauder' in full below