So, Interpol. They’re chugging around but we tend to take these guys for granted for some reason. With the narrative around the release of their sixth album Marauder focusing on how they, alongside their contemporaries in the 2000s New York indie rock scene, have to deal with being less prominent in this age, this album reads a bit like another attempt at rejuvenation for the band. This record, then, clearly shows a band in transition. On one hand, a part of me feels they could have done more to really grab my attention: this still feels comfortably like an Interpol record, meaning, it feels a bit of a time warp. On the other hand, getting Dave Fridmann on as producer – having a man known for (relatively) bright sounds working on a typically cold and mechanical band – has invigorated their sound, at least incrementally. It just feels a little warmer, and along with the decision to be more topical and more autobiographical thematically, Marauder feels it can speak to you now rather than extol the glories (or otherwise) of the past. Now, I’m not sure if this reads as another bid at world domination; maybe the time for that is done. Still, a good effort which should attract new fans and keep old ones alike. [NB] | 3/5
We’ve had our ear on Nikki Nava since last year, when we included her in a Local Outsider column. We’ve always liked how she does so much with what seems to be little. That’s on full display with the release of her first proper single, “Secrets”, and with more new stuff on the way, we asked her to tell us the five songs she can’t live without. Warning: there are some surprises on her list.
It’s been a weird few years for Interpol. Their last, eponymous album wasn’t received as enthusiastically; their bassist soon left the band; and the guys seemed to be in a state of flux. Now Paul Banks is assuming bass duties, and the band returns with El Pintor, which frankly isn’t the spectacular comeback some might hope. It is, by all means, your usual Interpol album: slight influences of Echo and the Bunnymen and their ilk, added with some New York shine. It is, of course, still distinctly Interpol, despite bands like White Lies taking on their sound in the past few years. El Pintor is, ultimately, a stabilizing force: it is Interpol getting their bearings back and doing what they do best. And maybe try a few new things here and there – “Tidal Wave” has an unusual flourish, while “My Desire” is a slow burner that should sound good live. [NB] | 4/5