20 August 2013

20th August - Interpol's Turn On the Bright Lights

Artist - Album: Interpol - Turn On the Bright Lights
Released: 20th August 2002
Sounds like: Well, Joy Division, kind of...

Following the huge success of the Strokes around the turn of the millennium, there was a vogue for bands with punchy guitars and oh so tight rhythm sections. Although there was a gaggle of straight imitators and Strokey-likeys who suddenly appeared on the scene - here's looking at you, The Vines - the fact that the chief characteristics were more to do with style and approach than actual genres meant that they could be applied to quite different forms of music. Case in point: Interpol, who were enamoured with Eighties post-punk and goth a la Joy Division and The Cure, but could Strokes it with the best of them.

This, their debut, turned out to be one of the best albums of the decade. It's gloomy and paranoid true, but it's also imminently accessible (opener 'Untitled' was used on an episode of Friends for God's sake) and totally enjoyable. As a counterpoint to the dreamy, minimalistic 'Untitled', 'Obstacle 1' assaults the senses. Jagged guitars stab at you like Norman Bates, whilst Paul Banks barks psychotic lyrics at you menancingly. It's an absolite belter. The third track, the ballad 'NYC', is a favourite of Michael Stipes.

Bands keep cropping up that sound like Strokey-cats, but those that mimiced Interpol have long since dried up. That may be because theirs is not an easy sound to copy, or because there's less commercial potential in it, or simply because 99% of people are more cheery than the New York mopers, but I like to think it's just because they're a bit special.

Analbumaday... rating: 9/10

1. Untitled – 3:56
2. Obstacle 1 – 4:11
3. NYC – 4:20
4. PDA – 4:59
5. Say Hello to the Angels – 4:28
6. Hands Away – 3:05
7. Obstacle 2 – 3:47
8. Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down – 6:28
9. Roland – 3:35
10. The New – 6:07
11. Leif Erikson – 4:00

Listen to 'Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down': www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s5lzcKpu0Q

No comments:

Post a Comment