Interpol: Been there, done that
Change is good. At least it's supposed to be. By taking chances and exploring other ventures, an artist can display versatility in their own work. Interpol's fourth venture, in their self-titled album, does not accomplish this feat. It's not that Interpol is bad; it's just that we've heard it before. Paul Banks sings like he's at a funeral, while the rest of the band supports him in creating a dark and dejected sound reminiscent of the post-punk sounds of Joy Division.
By the time you reach the middle of the album, it seems like all the tracks blend together as one. None of them really do anything to set themselves apart from the other in any way.
It's like listening to white noise on multiple channels. After a certain point, you don't know the difference between channels two and 12, and none provide a really captivating or memorable experience. And then it becomes apparent what was missing from this album: an actual attempt to take chances as music artists.
On their previous albums, Interpol implemented a variety of different techniques to create a sound that wasn't quite like anyone at the time, while staying true to the genre in a salute to the pioneers before them. Stylistic loops, powerful lyrics and a pummeling sound that made it feel like you were tossed in a black hole were just a few of the elements they employed to burst onto the scene and make their mark on an industry that was beginning to forget the post-punk sound in favor of a more modern tone.
"Turn On The Bright Lights" and "Antics" were both perfect examples of artistry in their craft. At the same time, they may very well be the apex of a band that provided so much depth and excitement to the genre.
Then came the release of the new self-titled album- that propelled Carlos Dengler to becoming the unlikely face of the band throughout the streets of New York, with his unique style and ventures into other enterprises.
While Dengler stuck around to record and produce this album, it's apparent that this isn't some of his best work. It feels like he had one foot out the door while making it. Instead of staying and trying to perfect his last mosaic, it seems like the album was a rushed effort of a man who wanted to be known for something other than his cool bass lines.
Following a show at Apogee's Berkeley Street Studio in Santa Monica last week the band was interviewed by KCRW, and when asked about Dengler's departure the band stated that, "There are always signs. It's really exactly kind of like that. I don't think we were shocked. Obviously, disappointed. He's a great guy."
While his replacements: Brandon Curtis, keyboard, and David Pajo, bass, both come from successful bands and are no strangers to the spotlight, it will take some time for the band to pick up the pieces and move forward. Both are essentially playing and interpreting Dengler's lines, but after becoming more comfortable with the band they could develop into something bigger than before.
And with a tour coming up alongside U2 in their future, they may be headed in just the right direction. Interpol will definitely be tested in the months to come, and while their most recent release didn't quite stand up to their previous ones it will be interesting to see the development of this band and what the future has in store for them.