Interpol – Marauder (US import)
While they were making Marauder, Interpol were also touring to commemorate the 15th anniversary of their debut album, Turn on the Bright Lights, and having their salad days chronicled in Meet Me in the Bathroom, Lizzy Goodman’s oral history of New York City’s early-2000s rock revival. Frequently, these are the achievements of an act ready to rest on its laurels, but instead of viewing this point in their career as a plateau, Interpol use it as a springboard to push harder, and rock louder, than they have in some time. To that end, they worked with an outside producer for the first time since 2007’s Our Love to Admire, enlisting Dave Fridmann to shape the album’s sound. Considering his ornate work with Mercury Rev and the Flaming Lips, he may seem like an odd choice, but he helps Interpol shed some unnecessary musical baggage on Marauder. Instead of allowing the infinite takes and undos that digital recording provides, Fridmann had the band track the album directly to tape. It was an inspired choice: Marauder’s live energy and slight imperfections are invigoratingly human (the album’s anti-technology stance even extends to “Party’s Over,” which touches on social media’s destructive loop of exhibitionism and voyeurism). Interpol attack these songs with an aggression that matches their early days, and the hallmarks of their music — Daniel Kessler‘s alternately chiming and prickly guitars, Sam Fogarino‘s pounding rhythms, and Paul Banks‘ equally cryptic and emotive words and vocals — feel reinvigorated, particularly on quintessentially Interpol moments such as “Number 10,” “NYSMAW,” and “Complications,” a spiky, loping rocker that sounds exactly like its refrain of “sidling up the street.” Mint.
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