Interpol had a surge of popularity in the UK in 2004 as part of the new-new-wave movement bolstered by Franz Ferdinand, as their second album "Antics" came out. Not having heard their first I can't do as most do and review "Antics" in comparison to the debut.
It's an exaggeration to say they only have one song, but they have fused their influences into a firmly personal style. Those crisp, pinging guitars and angular melodies of course have that early 80s post-punk flavour, verging towards early goth. There's a hint of the freshness of early "New Year's Day" era U2, before they puffed up. Less obviously, their twin guitars sometimes remind me of The Church, especially the chiming final track "A Time to be So Small". But I don't get the Joy Division comparisons, apart from Paul Banks's similar vocal inflection (when he's not sounding like Michael Stipe).
Its very tempting write about this album by reeling off a series of influences and similarities. The organ that starts the album doesn't lead into Dire Straits' "Walk of Life", but instead into the austere anthem "Next Exit". "Evil" pins a siren of a two note chorus on top of the bassline from "Smells Like Teen Spirit". It's the same two notes that Morrissey was fond of in his Smiths days. And talking about Franz Ferdinand, the spanking intro of "Slow Hands" could easily have launched into "Take Me Out".
Despite the homogeneity of their sound, every track has some piercing hook, often two or three. The tautness of the way their tunes are twined together means I'm never tempted to press the skip button.
August 11, 2005