August 22, 2018 Interpol – Marauder (Album Review)
During the resurgence of New Wave and Post-Punk music in the early 2000s, as spearheaded by bands such as The Libertines (“Can’t Stand Me Now”), The Strokes (“Reptilia”), Franz Ferdinand (“Take Me Out”), and The Killers (“Mr. Brightside”) among many others, Interpol effortlessly claimed the badge of being the successor to the Post-Punk Gothic hole long vacated by the legendary Joy Division (“Love Will Tear Us Apart”).
Rightfully so, Interpol, formed in 1997, in New York, United States, had gone on unleashing single after single of gloomily worded yet sonically sparkling tracks, which included “Slow Hands,” “Evil,” “The Heinrich Maneuver,” and “Barricade.” In a span of a dozen years, the stylish doomsters released five proper full-lengths, from 2002’s Turn On the Bright Lights to 2014’s El Pintor. Now, Interpol is back, with another compelling pièce de résistance.
Slated for release on Friday, August 24, 2018, on Matador Records, the sixth offering of Interpol—now comprised by the founding members Paul Banks (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, bass) and Daniel Kessler (lead guitar, backing vocals) as well as Sam Fogarino (drums, percussion, sampler) with touring musicians Brandon Curtis (keyboards, backing vocals) and Brad Truax (bass guitar, backing vocals)—is definitely an engaging set. Titled Marauder, it combines the dark and depressing Gothic excursion of the American band’s early works and the much brighter, Post-Punk styling of its latter followups.
Marauder opens with the upbeat and subtly pastoral flare of “If You Really Love Nothing.” The sunny vibes continue with the ensuing “The Rover” and “Complications,” whose slashing, angular guitars and galloping beats hug the limelight and, at the same time, throw the listener back to the spiky days of Post-Punk pioneers such as Gang of Four (“Return the Gift”), Siouxsie & the Banshees (“Mirage”), and Television (“Marquee Moon”).
“Stay in Touch” is relatively a different kind of beast; with its jangly and springy guitars and languid vocals, it comes across as a Britpop/Shoegaze hybrid to great effects. It will fit well onto a playlist that includes Chapterhouse’s “Pearl,” Catherine Wheel’s “Shallow,” Ride’s “Taste,” and Slowdive’s “When the Sun Hits.” Then, after the short “Interlude 1,” Marauder resumes with the playful and jagged predisposition of “Mountain Child,” which builds up into layers of grating, Tribal rhythms. The following “NYSMAW” then feeds on the previous track’s wall of shiny, staccato guitar sound. The mood relatively slows down a bit as “Surveillance” plays next, igniting like a midtempo Indie Rock ballad. The slight fuzziness and swirling guitar plucks then flow seamlessly into “Number 10,” only to burst midstream as a sure Psychedelic stomper.
Another change of pace and style surges next in the form of the interestingly syncopated “Party’s Over.” Interpol then launches into another interlude before they wrap up Marauder with the feel-good, relaxed sway and strums of “It Probably Matters,” recalling similarly Folk-y and rustic glows of one of the band’s very first songs, “Hands Away.”
Always driving, braving any obstacles, and definitely no longer down, Interpol has really come a long way. Banks and Kessler and their current comrades are ready once again to say hello not only to the old vanguards of Alternative Rock but also to the young angels of the Indie music community. CrypticRock gives Marauder 4 out of 5 stars.