History has not been especially kind to the New York bands which blazed a trail in the early 2000s. The Strokes found their early success impossible to replicate; the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Rapture were eventually revealed to be a triumph of hype over long-term artistic vision.
It has sometimes felt as if the same slow fade-out was the fate reserved for Interpol, whose 2002 debut Turn On The Bright Lights is widely acknowledged as among the decade’s outstanding albums. Having arrived with such a definitive statement, the besuited gloomsters struggled to move on to the next stage of their career — a conundrum accentuated by the departure in 2010 of bassist and founder member Carlos Dengler.
His exit coincided with the release of their self titled fourth record — widely regarded as a sluggish, idea-deficient nadir. Far from marking a downward trajectory however Interpol have since demonstrated that this was merely a blip and that they are a long way from done.
There was a return to their early urgency with 2014’s El Pintor and now they’ve bounced back in earnest with their sixth long player.
Marauder is produced by David Fridmann, the psychedelic high priest whose collaborators include Tame
Impala, Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev. Yet, the understandable worry that the group were about to give their stately sound a trippy glaze has proved unjustified.
Instead, Interpol are more Interpol than ever. Daniel Kessler’s funereal guitar parts unfold with tremendous intensity on ‘The Rover’ and ‘If You Really Love Nothing’, over which singer Paul Banks chimes in with his frosty vocals.
Both musicians have described Marauder as one of their more experimental outings. That’s true only if we are to regard the concept of Interpol sounding really like Interpol as a brave veer into uncharted territory. But fans are likely to take the opposite view and, as they thrill to the sombre and majestic ‘Mountain Child’ and ‘Surveillance’, to conclude that Interpol have never found more comfortable in their angst-pop overalls.