Interpol
El Pintor


4.5
superb

Review

by Dan H. CONTRIBUTOR (54 Reviews)
August 29th, 2014 | 262 replies


Release Date: 09/09/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A new animal, a new work of art.

Given his incredible performances on both Turn on the Bright Lights and Antics, any suggestions that Interpol would have been better off without Carlos Dengler would have been deservedly met with derision. Sometimes intricate and sometimes bold, his basslines were a large part of what gave Interpol their distinctive post punk sound, trumped perhaps only by Paul Banks’ distinctive baritone delivery. However, the hit and miss Our Love to Admire was barely stamped with his trademark style, whilst the practically hook-free self titled album saw him take an even further step back, hinting at his departure. In truth Dengler’s love affair with Interpol had been winding down for some time, but rather than missing what was an increasingly fractured relationship, Banks and co sound more refreshed than ever. Daniel Kessler’s riffs are huge and at times anthemic, Sam Fogarino sounds re-energized behind his kit, and Paul Banks provides not only incredible vocals, but also driving basslines. The decision not to replace Dengler was a bold one, but it’s been entirely justified.

Ahead of the album’s release, lead singer Banks described the now three piece Interpol as a ‘new animal,’ and even admitted that they had to prove to both themselves and their fans that they were still capable of making a great record. It’s perhaps more than just a coincidence then that they've released their strongest album in a decade. Just as Turn on the Bright Lights showcased their brilliance when they first burst onto the scene, El Pintor comes at a time when they were forced to prove it all over again – and they've made quite the statement.

The anthemic ‘All the Rage Back Home’ opens the album brilliantly, and it’s quite possibly the strongest song the band has written since ‘Evil.’ Beginning in subdued fashion, Paul Banks’ calm drawl stands parallel to a lone Daniel Kessler riff before being joined by resolute drumming and a forceful bassline. Dengler may have gone, but Banks hasn’t shied away from taking up the mantle, and any reservations that the bass would be simple or obscured are quickly dissipated. Though it’s never as sophisticated as it was on past albums, it alternates between commanding and fitting accordingly, and it adds a touch more punk to Interpol’s post punk sound than we've seen for many years. Elsewhere, album highlight ‘Breaker 1’ boasts a menacing vocal performance which wouldn't have sounded out of place on the seminal Turn on the Bright Lights, and following track ‘Tidal Wave’ benefits from swirling electronics which compliment the excellent riff as it builds to a potent final chorus.

The falsetto led ‘My Blue Supreme’ and the unconventional riff on ‘Same Town, New Story’ both catch the eye, and its testament to the strength of the album that almost any song could be dissected and examined positively. Some cuts do of course stand above the rest, but deciding which moments to mention comes as a welcome change to searching for highlights as was unfortunately the case on their languid self titled album. Whether Interpol were confident enough to hint at the album being a work of art, or whether they simply fancied a good anagram, El Pintor is a huge improvement by a band that, perhaps without the added pressure to once again succeed, would have instead spiralled further into irrelevancy.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
August 29th 2014


1034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Delighted to have reached 50 reviews here on Sput, took me long enough mind.



tommygun
August 29th 2014


25118 Comments


congrats man! will read this one in a sec

Digging: Banks - Goddess

tommygun
August 29th 2014


25118 Comments


yea v v nice

album rocks too

oahmed
August 29th 2014


11 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good stuff, Tidal Wave particularly has grown to be one of my favorites from the album.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2014


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

better than their previous two, nowhere close to former prowess

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
August 29th 2014


1034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cheers Tom.

Had a feeling you'd pop up Adam, remember your TOTBL review years ago one of the first I read on here. If
this doesn't take your fancy too much I doubt anything they go on to do will either.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2014


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

most baffling band to me. they basically "unlocked" music for me with TotBL and nothing they've done since has even come close to SOUNDING like that record

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
August 29th 2014


1034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't want to call it an accident, but I'm not sure they could even pinpoint what made that album so special.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
August 29th 2014


13404 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

its the cover art

Digging: The Smith Street Band - Throw Me In The River

BMDrummer
August 29th 2014


9456 Comments


i should check this band

Digging: Fugazi - First Demo

thelastsignal
August 29th 2014


1504 Comments


Nice work Dan, and congrats on 50. I'm knocking on 50's door myself as well. I need to check this one.

Digging: Achilles - Hospice

Nikkolae
August 29th 2014


4866 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yes

Digging: Giant - Song

Gyromania
August 29th 2014


15967 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Downer of course you'd give this a three

Totbl isn't even THAT good. It's excellent but idk what the big deal is

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
August 29th 2014


21643 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

agreed hard with the review. great job, great fuckin album

Digging: Soen - Tellurian

ExplosiveOranges
August 29th 2014


3637 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Congrats on hitting 50, dude! Here's to 50 more.

Digging: Bloodbath - Grand Morbid Funeral

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
August 29th 2014


1034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys. Great to see the album has pleasantly surprised most people.

peaks40
August 29th 2014


2774 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm so glad this is good

TheCrocodile
August 29th 2014


303 Comments


Dunno if better than Antics but damn that last track is good.

Ocean of Noise
August 29th 2014


540 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Better than Antics

bloc
August 29th 2014


35004 Comments


God mode hey hey hey hey hey!

Digging: The Birthday Massacre - Superstition



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