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October 4, 2004


Interpol Antics


I'm sure you've all been biding your time, waiting to read the Amy's Robot review before you run out and buy your own $10* copy of Interpol's new album Antics. Don't worry about being, in the words of XFM's review, a "retro gimp-monkey", it's OK to think that the best album that's come out so far this year is by a band whose fans all eagerly compare them to other bands from other decades. Yes, there are still elements of Joy Division and sometimes The Smiths in their music, and I would add The Chameleons to the list of comparisons--but this is not a problem for record buyers or critics, probably because these are not bad bands to emulate. While some moments of their first album, Turn on the Bright Lights, sounded like a perfect distillation of the entire Smiths catalog, this one sounds more like a retake of the Kitchens of Distinction's Strange Free World, a favorite album of mine from, um, 1991. But more than anything else, this album sounds like all the best aspects of their first album--I think we can finally say that Interpol has established their own sound. NY indie kids have been hearing versions of it since the band's early days at Brownies (now-defunct) and Tiswas. Better production on this album means the guitars are cleaner, the vocals are mixed up louder (which has the effect of making Paul Banks' voice sound higher in pitch) and the rhythm section is, as always, very big and very awesome.

For the last two years I've been telling people about Interpol and how TOTBL is just one of those perfect albums that comes out of nowhere. It looks like they've now actually made two of those perfect albums. Michael Stipe covered "NYC" at an REM concert last year. "Slow Hands" is the first single released, and it's done very well in the UK. World domination seems inevitable, and very well deserved.

* All the NYC record stores seem to be selling it for $10, but if you live somewhere else, I can make no guarantees about your local record stores' practices, or anything else for that matter.

categories: Music
posted by amy at 12:24 PM | #

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