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Interpol : Cardiff Barfly

...music that looks beyond traditional rock touchstones to something wonderfully other...

Interpol :  Cardiff Barfly

It’s showtime. Over the last couple of months, New York natives Liars and
The Rapture have steamed into Cardiff Barfly, loosened their valves, and
blown the roof off this venue with the Brooklyn punk-funk beat. It’s hardly
surprising, then, that anticipation for this show is intense. Serious young
men and elegantly-dressed girls in eyeliner crush at the stagefront. Cynics
may pin this New York thing as a fad, but the reaction of the punters says
otherwise.

The anticipation is justified. Live, Interpol are the sumptuous banquet to
The Strokes’ toothrot pop bubblegum. ‘Obstacle 1’ is a work of gothic wonder, Daniel Kessler slashing violently at his guitar as singer Paul, eyes tightly clenched, barks about "stabbing yourself in the neck". The pin-sharp ‘PDA’ is beautifully
uncluttered, guitars and bass chiming in perfect symmetry. ‘Say Hello To The
Angels’ is a sprightly homage toSmiths, foppish Marr-style melodies
weaving round Sam Fogarino’s upbeat drum motifs. And if Interpol do sound likeJoy Division, it’s for all the right reasons: the way that Carlos’ rapier
basslines are as influenced by the electronic new-wave than by traditional
follow-the-guitar indie logic, the way that touring keyboard player Eric
Altesleben’s stellar synth lines envelop the songs like immense velvet
drapes, then slip away leaving the guitars shrieking in cold, stark beauty.

This is music that looks beyond traditional rock touchstones to something
wonderfully other.

Louis Pattison

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