FOR the past 16 years Interpol have stuck stubbornly to their trademark angular post-punk sound.
While fellow New York contemporaries from the 2000s like The Strokes and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs deviated and experimented – with varying levels of success – Interpol’s evolution has been subtle.
Sixth album Marauder - while unmistakably Interpol – has an assertiveness not seen since their magnificent 2002 debut Turn On The Bright Lights. For the first time since 2007’s Our Love To Admire, Interpol have recruited an outside producer and Dave Fridmann’s (Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips, MGMT) main contribution was to add muscular grunt to the three-piece’s natural energy.
It’s the closest Interpol have come to replicating their live sound in the studio, so much so the police arrived at one of their practice sessions due to a noise complaint.
Sam Fogarino’s drumming is pounding throughout, especially on the propulsive Stay In Touch and Mountain Child. Daniel Kessler’s trademark guitar licks remain crucial to the sound, particularly on The Rover and Number 10.
For the first time frontman Paul Banks has cast his critical gaze upon himself in the lyrics. Previously he would reference the outside world and characters, but here he investigates his own self-destructiveness on The Rover when he sings, “Walk in on your own feet/Says the rover/It's my way or they all leave.”
Not everything works. Banks’ falsetto on If You Really Love Nothing makes for an insipid opener, thankfully Marauder quickly recovers to be the most powerful statement Interpol have made in more than a decade.