Interpol is a strange band. They're the one of the few indie bands out there that has the time to remix their own crap, but then again, they're also one of the only indie bands to do it somewhat well. The Remix EP
is exactly what you think it is. A few of Interpol's weakest tracks remixed to try to make them sound better. Now, why anyone would buy this, I'm not sure. It's a true diehard fan release. I for one do not own the Remix EP, but the special edition of 2004's disappointing Antics
included the Remix EP as a second disc, along with a new track, Song Seven
. That is what I am reviewing. Ok, so technically it's not the Remix EP, but trust me, you guys need to know how good Song Seven
is. As for the EP itself, it's not much of a treat, with band members either hardly trying anything new, or just ruining the original version completely. That's not to say all the remixes suck, for once again, Carlos D proves he will always be the coolest member of Interpol.
I mentioned I'm reviewing Song Seven
merely to let the public understand how great it is. It's a fantastic Interpol track of old with Paul's monotonic vocals overriding a steady 4/4 beat by Sam. Unlike most of Turn On The Bright Lights, Song Seven
includes a great guitar solo, melancholy and sliding with emotion. Interpol, undoubtedly the deftist of poets, hit lyrical brillance again with the main lyric of the song being "You were like a cloud/ Yes you were a flower/ then you moved around/ now our love is sour." and "We'll start again buttercup, don't give up" It's interesting to note how the use of a simple word like "buttercup" can make a song go from dark to haunting. Carlos D shows his prolific basswork again, doing what many bassists are either too scared to do, or just plain can't. Carlos enters the song on the upper frets of his G-String and just has at it. The overall ambience of the song is either that is the missing link between Antics and Turn On The Bright Lights, or it's a hint that Interpol will be returning to form for their third album. One can only hope it's the latter.
As for the remixes of the EP, they are nothing to be particularly proud of, save for Carlos's vision of Public Pervert
. Each member tailored the song they chose to emphasize whatever they do in the band. Paul Bank's take on Narc
sounds practically like an Unplugged, with only Paul and an acoustic guitar singing the song, and devoiding it of all emotion it ever had. On the album version, when Paul wails "She found a lonely sound/ She keeps on waiting for Time Out there", it at least garnered the song a couple listens to get caught in that swirling abyss. Unfortunately, the remixed version just sounds like mumbled, lazy, and tired rants. The Length Of Love
remix is also rather annoying. Sam Fogerty, the drummer of Interpol, remixed this one to sound almost like... a dance track? The track is incredibly percussion-heavy, and extremely tiring. Not only does it not make you want to dance, it makes you want to hit the skip button after 2 minutes let alone keep it on for the next 7. Note to Interpol: Please, keep your sound in Indie darkness, and don't bring it to dancehalls.
The other two remixes, however, are actually quite good. Daniel Kessler's version of the album highlight Not Even Jail
is excellent, and doesn't ruin the song one bit. Of course it doesn't exactly change the song, that much either. Or at all. Save for some extra guitar and cutting those annoying vocals, Daniel's remix is exactly the same, in tempo and feel. Only this time with some odd and rather useless skateboard-wheel effect cutting into the song's overall happy feel. Thankfully the highlight of the song is left alone, where Paul's vocal line "Oh, But hold it still darling/ your hair's so free/ can't you feel the warmth of my sincerity?" is left alone. This remix however leaves much to be desired when compared to Carlos D's sexy synthetic version of the icy Public Pervert
. Opening with a whistle sample, Carlos throws in some synths imitating the bass line. We the listener are in for a symphonic treat. For those video gamers out there, if you've ever played a Tiger Woods game, this sounds like it belongs on the soundtrack, only it's too good for it. Placing the original guitar riff over some smooth beats and Paul repeating the songs hook "Swoon Baby Starry Nights", Carlos intends to highlight everyone of the band member's talents, and he very well succeeds. He leaves a section where only Paul croons his deadly hook over nothing but dark keyboard, and this section continues adding everyone of the band members. Apparently Carlos is the only one who took time with his remix, and it definitely shows. The listener's are in for a treat here. It's four minutes of pure ambience until the verse's vocals come in, and it does not tire you. The only downside could be the 8 minute length, but for first and second time listeners, it's hard to not get lost in the sexy synths.
This is undoubtedly a fan's only EP. If you don't like Interpol, don't touch it. My suggestion is to pick up the Special Edition of Antics, just so you can hear Song Seven. The actual remix EP does not include that song, only the remixes, and that is something even I would not buy. My advice for the casual listener: Go out and buy that special edition of Antics, for this is not a treat, save for Carlos D's remix.
Not Even Jail
Song Seven may be a return to form.
Carlos D will always be the coolest member of Interpol.
Most of the remixes are unoriginal and egoecentric.
I don't even think diehards will buy this if it doesn't have Song Seven.
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