July 28, 2022 Interpol – The Other Side of Make-Believe (Album Review)
The New York City-hailing Interpol continues to secure its place as one of the enduring forerunners of the 2000s phase of Indie Rock. Formed in 1997, Interpol released its debut full-length, Turn On the Bright Lights, in 2002. Five albums followed, all through 2018’s Marauder; and now a new one has just been unleashed.
Released on Friday, July 15, 2022, via Matador Records, Interpol’s latest effort is titled The Other Side of Make-Believe. Produced by “Flood” (Mark Ellis) and mixed by Alan Moulder, it marks Interpol’s – Paul Banks (vocals, bass, rhythm guitar), Sam Fogarino (drums), and Daniel Kessler (lead guitar, piano) – seventh overall studio album. Consists of eleven new tracks in total, it opens introspectively with the subtle gallops of the piano-led “Toni.” Following in the expected direction is the Post-Punk “Fables” and “Into the Night,” which is a further step to the band’s trademark Goth-glazed Indie Rock disposition.
A bit more angular and metallic, “Mr. Credit”–which features Flood, providing additional vocals–then stomps its way back into Interpol’s comfort zone, only to return the listener to somber piano balladry in the form of “Something Changed” – the album’s second single. Definitely the highlight, “Renegade Hearts” has the ingredients of what makes it a perfect Indie Rock song – melodic guitars, tom-based drum pattern, tubular bass lines, and chilling baritone swagger. Still in the same mood, “Passenger,” however, slows down the rhythm slightly, as if setting for the listener a serene ambience.
Later on, “Greenwich” is a trek to the countryside – a bit bluesy, a little subdued. Near the end of the set, their most recent single “Gran Hotel” starts dramatically with a synth drone and then splinters to sharp, jagged guitar strums. The penultimate track, “Big Shot City” then conjures neon-bright night street-lights – dizzying, trance-like, filmic, absorbing. Finally, the trio wrap up their latest narrative aptly with the Shoegaze/Dreampop-stylized midtempo “Go Easy (Palermo).”
Many bands have definitely made great impressions especially during their so-called legacy days. That in mind, only a few have been able to carve a long and productive path over the years. Interpol is one of those bands. The Other Side of Make-Believe is yet another proof of that…believe it or not. After all, the music is enough to back this up, and that is why Cryptic Rock gives this brand-new oeuvre 4 out of 5 stars.