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Album Reviews, Music

Album Review: Interpol – “Marauder”

By: Jessica Nakamoto –

 

 

Interpol - Marauder

We may have had to wait a lengthy twenty-one years to break it out, but the phrase “someone called the cops on Interpol” will not likely get old anytime soon.

For fans who’ve stuck around since the band’s formation back in 1997, this past year has held a few noteworthy surprises. Not only were eager followers excited by the prospect of a new record (the band’s first since 2014’s El Pintor), but they also got to pull out the “dueling law enforcement joke” they’d been keeping in their back pocket for far too long.

And the crime in question? Having way too much fun!

Comedically, as a band best known for their signature brooding vocals and moody but rhythmic overtones, Interpol isn’t necessarily many people’s first guess for “going too hard” with their music. However, upon witnessing guitarist Daniel Kessler, frontman Paul Banks, and drummer Sam Forgarino energetically (and loudly) throw themselves into the production of their new album, one unhappy Manhattan neighbor clearly felt otherwise. After being promptly ejected from the rehearsal space shared with fellow New Yorkers, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, it turns out that the trio’s latest offering, Marauder (out August 24 via Matador Records), is nothing short of an indie-tinged rock-your-socks-off kind of masterpiece. In fact, as proven by Fogarino’s broken drum kit, Interpol wasn’t afraid to hold anything back when it came to cranking out bold new tracks.

Flexing both their literal and creative muscles, Interpol’s latest thirteen-song collection hits listeners hard, only taking two brief breathers for a pair of instrumental interludes. The rapid tempo and strong intensity present in songs like “The Rover” and “Mountain Child” help distinguish Marauder from Interpol’s previous works, while tracks like “Flight of Fancy” and the appropriately named “Number 10” are melodically reminiscent to the band’s classic sound.

And if this mix of “old and new”, “calm but punchy”, and “loud but not too loud”, wasn’t enough to make listeners stay for a second glance, Interpol threw in yet another twist to their whirlwind of a record. Notoriously avoiding additional assistance since the release of Our Love to Admire, nearly a decade ago, the band once again sought guidance from an outside producer. With collaborations ranging from the Flaming Lips to MGMT, Dave Fridmann was the perfect candidate to bring Interpol’s latest record to the next level.

However, with a bold move, the acclaimed producer may have unknowingly continued the somewhat unintentional theme of unpredictability in Marauder. Adding to the mass of irony already oozing from the situation at hand, Fridmann boldly suggested tracking the album on tape to avoid “over-production” and the loss of the band’s moody spunk. While unorthodox, this decision proved to be a good one. The artfully authentic scratch and static pop of a guitar in “Complications” and the powerful drumlines cutting through the heavier rock melody of “Stay in Touch” are merely samples of the wonderful possibilities in store for artists brave enough to change things up.

Thus, if only one thing could be taken away from what Forgarino dubs to be the band’s “best record yet”, it would probably come down to the title itself, Marauder. In essence, be brave, go hard, and don’t be afraid to raid your innermost intentions and storm out with the best product possible.

Recommended Tracks: Flight of Fancy / Stay in Touch / Complications

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