Published Aug 22, 2018After launching themselves to critical acclaim in 2002 with their instant classic debut LP Turn on the Bright Lights, a tightly wound, moody post-punk album that encapsulated the fears and wavering of their NYC hometown after 9/11, Interpol continued to mine the genre's sounds — to diminishing returns. On sixth album Marauder, the band try something new: actually sounding like they're having the slightest amount of fun.
Sure, Interpol are still capable of effortlessly slick and sinister post-punk, as on "Flight of Fancy" and "It Probably Matters," which stack up with their post-Bright Lights best. But it's the opening tracks that excite the most with their new tricks, from the swinging beat of "If You Really Love Nothing" to the speedy groove of "The Rover." Even "Complications," with its reggae upstrokes, provides some excitement.
Unfortunately, as with most of Interpol's recent releases, the end results are far too inconsistent to make any lasting impact. Tracks like "Party's Over" fail to commit to any clear idea, while "Stay in Touch" and "Surveillance" ride out mediocre riffs far longer than necessary.
Interpol are far past the point of trying to recapture their glory days, but even their attempts to change things up come off as a mixed bag. Prospective fans and diehards alike are better off starting at the beginning. (Matador)