Interpol – El Pintor


Artist

Album

El Pintor

Label

Matador

Year

2014

For Fans Of

Banks, The Strokes

Summary

Faster, brighter and simpler.

Rating

72 / 100

Interpol’s fifth record, ‘El Pintor,’ or by its English translation, ‘The Painter,’ is the band’s first album without original member, bass player, Carlos Dengler, a change that weirdly seems to have given the band a little more energy. Opening track and first single ‘All The Rage Back Home’ starts out sounding like fairly standard dragging Interpol before introducing a fast paced beat and a fair bit of bop.

It appears that the band is working on hooky little intricacies this time around, little nodules to creep into your brain and stay there, like the guitar loop in ‘My Desire’, a simple yet effective touch that speaks more than the vocal lines. While it is interesting and refreshing to hear the band toy with elements like this, it is an idea repeated and used a little too much in the one space as a similar approach is taken in ‘Same Town, New Story’, the lead guitar tone has little variance throughout the record.

It does however serve to lift Interpol‘s sound to somewhat of a brighter place than usual. The mid-point of the record delivers a highlight, ‘Everything Is Wrong‘, a strong bass groove and laid-back beat that allows enough space for the vocal melodies to shine through and lift the catchy chorus.

Things round out with the ambient and percussive ‘Tidal Wave’, another bass stand-out, interesting considering the bass duties were handled by frontman Paul Banks on this album and he seems to be doing a finer job than the departed Dengler. ‘Twice As Hard‘, the closing track a slow mover with heavy vocal effects and a wall of sound chorus that builds quite nicely.

It seems like somewhat of a re-invention or back-to-basics approach for the group and while they have played it relatively safe they are off in the right direction.

Conclusion

Interpol seem to have taken a fairly stripped back and simple approach on this record, it works for them, however isn’t overly exciting or different. It really just appeals to existing fans, who will love it, but there is not as much evolution here as some might have hoped.

Tracklisting

1. All the Rage Back Home
2. My Desire
3. Anywhere
4. Same Town, New Story
5. My Blue Supreme
6. Everything Is Wrong
7. Breaker 1
8. Ancient Ways
9. Tidal Wave
10. Twice as Hard

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