You know what it feels like to fall out of love with a band? Where once you used to be desperate for every new release, the latest record is purchased more through habit than through desire. What used to excite now feels old. Sure, if you can take an objective view, there are plenty of things to like but when you’ve loved, like doesn’t really cut it.
Well, that’s how I feel about Interpol. ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’ was an LP which provoked love at first sight and left me craving more. Unfortunately when more did arrive it was a let down.
Not that ‘Antics’ is any way a bad album. It’s just that I was expecting greatness and the streamlined, propulsive Interpol of ‘Antics’ isn’t greatness to me. So, did this metaphorical cold shower signify a case of infatuation rather than true love?
Third LP ‘Our Love To Admire’ would suggest that was the case. My first impressions were not good – on the first couple of listens there was nothing which jumped out at me as a great song. In fact too often some sounded like they’ve been constructed entirely from parts of previous Interpol songs. ‘Heinrich Maneuver’ and ‘No I In Threesome’ are obvious culprits.
And yet, on repeated plays, both these songs have a saving grace in that they’re pretty damn good. And if you couldn’t listen to this record without recognising that it is obviously Interpol, there is at least a broadening of style on things like ‘Pioneer To The Falls’ and ‘Rest My Chemistry’ which may be amongst the slowest songs on the record but are also amongst the best.
I’m still left with a nagging feeling though that this isn’t going to be a keeper in the long run (and the last few undistinguished songs don’t help either.) The likes of the Bunnymen and REM get a bit of a pasting for sounding just like themselves but that is more inevitable given that they have 25 years plus of history behind them. Interpol are only on their third LP yet they sound like they’ve said all they have to say.
Frustratingly the band have been involved in some decent remixes of their own material (and there’s another one of ‘Heinrich’ on their Myspace) yet they haven’t found a way to incorporate this into their LPs as of yet.
Don’t let me make out that this is a bad LP, it’s not. But sadly it isn’t as good even as ‘Antics’ and the musical progress on display is limited.
Here’s a couple of the best tracks musically (the lyrics are another story):
Interpol – No I In Threesome
Interpol – Rest My Chemistry
You can buy ‘Our Love To Admire’ here.
Photo borrowed from Pitchfork.