Interpol circle darker undertones on Marauder

MarauderPost-punk revival kingpins Interpol are back with a new album - the first in four years. Having been on the scene in the early 00s when the likes of The Strokes and The National were also navigating New York’s explosive indie music scene, it’s a celebration that, not only are they all still (mostly) friends, but they continue to write music as a band 20 years into their career.

Marauder sees the band work with a producer for the first time since 2007’s Our Love to Admire. At the helm is Dave Fridmann – who boasts a CV including Mercury Rev, MGMT and The Flaming Lips. Having heard the album unfold over tight rehearsals, he can be credited for the raw force and volume behind the album; he suggested the band record directly onto tape, to capture the true essence of the new material.

Interpol marks their return with joyous urgency on opening track “If You Really Love Her”. There's no three-minute instrumental synth at the start of their albums these days, as the band goes straight back to what they do best. Lead single “The Rover” is sure to be a fan favourite live; its bizarrely catchy guitar hook only wets the appetite, for what follows is Interpol at its very best.

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Marauder is wildly racy, and full-to-the-brim with beats that are anything but bashful. By fourth track “Flight Of Fancy”, its raw, back-to-basics approach is beginning to take hold. The result of the loss of bass player Carlos Dengler is a super tight Interpol who hasn’t lost their trademark driving-guitar groove. They manage to unite the three core instruments of guitar, bass and drums to sound epic throughout the release.

The band has a breather on “Interlude 1”. Clearly bored with how great the album is coming along, someone decided to record atmospheric keys on a synth, lasting all of 10 – 15 seconds. Why? Thankfully it doesn’t disjoint the already wonderful collection of songs that also sees Paul Banks move away from his abstract observations of the past, and touch on real things that have happened to him, offering a rare autobiographical insight into his world. “Surveillance” ignites darker tones from Banks, as do dual vocals and harmonies by longstanding compadre Kessier, and on final track “It Probably Matters” emotions bleed onto tape in spine-tingling fashion.

Marauder ditches the cool words that in the past sat together and oozed style. Instead, you get Banks tangled and twined in the various personas he’s experienced in his life. Which is why he’s so bloody cool. Interpol's thunderous groves and simple euphoric guitars always pulsate with tension but on this album, they allow the great energy to circle Banks' unique downer tones. Raw and unafraid, album number 6 is an absolute gem, and guaranteed to bring the house down in every city they visit on tour.

Release: 24th August 2018, Matador Records
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