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Interpol - Our Love To Admire

Interpol, Our Love To Admire

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

INTERPOL were another of New York’s great hopes when they first exploded onto the scene in mid-2002 when their stylish New Wave/retro sound caught everyone’s imagination.

With their scintillating blend of intelligent song-writing, distinct Paul Banks vocals, intricate guitar layering and Joy Division/Psychedelic Furs references, they seemed perfectly poised to take the world by storm – and did.

Three albums in and the inevitable backlash has begun. Questions have been posed regarding their long-term viability, and even their immediate quality. Did they have everyone fooled? Had their time come and gone as quickly as it arrived?

Not so, methinks. Interpol continue to be one of New York’s exciting bands. Indeed, some of their music has paved the way for bands like Editors to build careers. Third album Our Love To Admire may lack the immediate freshness of their 2002 debut Turn On The Bright Lights but it’s the sound of a band maturing nicely.

What’s more, when it catches fire it truly does ignite. Several songs send those hairs standing up on the back of your spine and hook you in from the very first moment you hear them. Others are just so darn cool you’ll want to phone/email and tell your friends about them.

The New Yorkers undoubtedly still belong in the ‘dark wave’, splicing retro sensbilities, sometimes punk-influenced, with an artistic sound that lends their songs an epic, sweeping quality. But while angst-ridden, coming of age teenagers seem the target listener base of choice, their songs actually transcend age to boast a much broader appeal.

The clever guitar riffs of Rest My Chemistry, for instance, soundcheck The Pixies’ seminal Where Is My Mind?, providing a thrilling backdrop to Banks’ pained but spectacular delivery.

While Pace Is The Trick slow-builds in spectacular style amid some spine-tingling hooks, thoughtful lyrics and a near-perfect sense of timing (it invites you to sing along and, played in stadiums, will easily become an anthemic, crowd-busting highlight).

Lead single The Heinrich Maneuver is another immense offering, an instantly catchy track that demands you sit up and take notice from the moment Banks asks “how are things on the West Coast?” The guitars, however, break from the usual slow-building, brooding tradition to drop some heart-quickening hooks. As they continue to do so on the surprisingly upbeat Mammoth, with its ponding, insistent drums.

Opening salvo Pioneer To The Falls sets the stage confidently amid some stark, ringing guitar riffs and atmospheric keyboards, before eventually sweeping you along on another thrilling adventure.

Those are the highpoints. But the rest of the album delivers just as competently. There’s a refreshing sense of humour on display on the vibrant No I In Threesome, some suitably rousing guitar explosions on All Fired Up and Who Do You Think and another accomplished, even haunting slow-build on Wrecking Ball.

Come atmospheric final track The Light House, which even dares to reference Morricone’s spaghetti western scores, any doubt that Interpol have “lost it” should utterly be erased. Our Love To Admire truly is worthy of widespread admiration. It’s a mighty return from New York’s finest art-rock outfit.

Download picks: Pioneer To The Falls, The Heinrich Maneuver, Pace Is The Trick, Rest My Chemistry, Wrecking Ball

Track listing:

  1. Pioneer To The Falls
  2. No I In Threesome
  3. The Scale
  4. The Heinrich Maneuver [Album Version]
  5. Mammoth
  6. Pace Is The Trick
  7. All Fired Up
  8. Rest My Chemistry
  9. Who Do You Think
  10. Wrecking Ball
  11. The Light House