Geezis people! With so much agitation surrounding Interpol's return as a west coast major label band, we'd half expected this NY foursome to show up on record shelves wearing Hawaiian shirts, roller skates, and freshly bleached toothy grins or something. At the very least, we figured that after listening to the album we'd be assured that all the recent spiteful blogger rants were based on some new sound, so obviously manufactured by Capital, that cries of "foul" couldn't help but be heard blaring from the rooftops. But alas, besides our dreaded feeling that Capital probably signed these guys thinking they'd sell to The Killers' market, the only thing scandalous about this album is a cover which depicts a lion doing something that's probably illegal in most of the United States to a pretty horrified looking antelope. But I digress.
Both Turn on the Bright Lights (2002) and Antics (2004) were absolute stunners that quite rightly put Interpol on the very top of the post-punk pile. So if the worst that could be said about Our Love to Admire is that it's business as usual for the boys in black, then you know it's an album worth getting excited about.
Still, as driven as the album is by Paul Banks' chanting vocals and a thunderous rhythm section that seems intent on summoning the end of days, Interpol's latest oeuvre has brought their discography full circle in a number of provocative ways. What began as a dark trilogy of drugs and despair set in the back alleys of Soho, for instance, now sees Banks crooning "how are things on the west coast?" in their newest single, "Heinrich Maneuver". Wishful thinking perhaps? A longing to escape the trappings of the east coast city that made them great? Certainly bouts of social satire have never been prevalent in Banks' lyrical repertoire, so it makes me wonder if other stand outs like "Rest My Chemistry", "No I in Threesome", or "The Scale" don't similarly hint at a desire to escape modern crutches of both the medicinal and matrimonial variety. Could Interpol be slowing down after three albums worth of touring and brooding dire? Maybe Hawaiian shirts and umbrella drinks are in their future after all. Anyway, it's Our Love to Admire ability to gage such important questions that is quickly making it one of my favorite albums of the year.
Choke down their latest video for "Henrich Maneuver" right here and see if it could be yours.
Review by: Chris Webster
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