Amid all the furore over Interpol’s return, one thing’s been absent from the debate: their music. So Brandon Flowers-esque facial fuzz, major-versus-indie-label politics and Editors-sound-more-like-Joy-Division-no-Interpol-do rows have all clogged up the NME mailroom, but there’s been little discussion as to whether their new material is actually any good.
Though recorded for the first time with an outside producer – Rich Costey, the man who ramped-up Muse’s space-rock aspirations on ‘Black Holes & Revelations’ – ‘Our Love To Admire’ is not exactly a departure. Instead, the band’s third album plunges straight back into a world of brooding nighthawks, seedy streets and dark corners lit by violent neon blasts.
So far, so familiar. But listen more closely and subtle differences become apparent. The first album they’ve recorded in New York, the songs ripple with the metroplis’ energy; ‘The Heinrich Maneuver’ swings with a hip-shaking urgency; ‘Mammoth’ pounds unrelentingly, but fosters a hopeful soul in its violent heart; the twitching ‘Who Do You Think’ urgently speeds through empty streets.
There are shades and depths too: ‘Rest My Chemistry’ is a stately mix of wisdom and regret, while touching closer ‘The Lighthouse’ finds Interpol sounding unexpectedly vulnerable and open.
But ‘Our Love To Admire’ finds its true strength as a whole. From its opening notes to its final breath, the album’s enveloping atmospherics seep into the senses, giving the everyday a film noir quality.
So make a fuss over their return, but let it be for this reason: Interpol have made a great album.