Interpol
Marauder


3.3
great

Review

by insomniac15 STAFF
August 25th, 2018 | 169 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A few highlights and some unexploited potential...

I must admit I was really looking forward to hearing the new Interpol album. I love El Pintor, it brought a rejuvenation that was unlikely to happen. As front man Paul Banks stepped to fill Carlos Dengler’s duties, the bass lines got more direct and driving overall. Of course, some weren’t impressed (as expected), however, I thought it matched the music and gave it a boost. It was indeed a heavy loss and thankfully, he filled the void well. Plus, the material was stronger, tighter and catchier (the self-titled LP showed a band pretty much tired and inspirationally drained). Meanwhile, another four years took for Marauder to see the light of day, the anticipation growing through the lead single, ‘The Rover’. I wasn’t impressed at first, still, the song got under my skin, raising my hopes back up. Unfortunately, the record rarely lives up to the hype generated around it.

Musically, Marauder relies too much on rather tame, mid-tempo hooks that often fail to build up any suspense. They are a bit blasé, often lacking the shoegaze embellishments, grit or even bombastic experimentation used to spice previous albums. On the upside, there’s a recurring swing influence that was slowed down a bit, creating a slick, late night version of it. Nevertheless, it’s not enough and many songs on the record gently flow by without offering much. Take for example ‘Complications’: it has a vintage vibe, but the chorus barely kicks in with a guitar lead over the rest of the instruments. As a consequence, it just softly moves along without any climax. Same goes for opening cut, ‘If You Really Love Nothing’, it keeps the same beat throughout, while you’re waiting to burst into some heavier progression or twist things a little. These aren’t bad tracks, they just lack some needed power or further exploration of the ideas (it doesn’t help they are first impressions either). ‘Flight of Fancy’ narrowly escapes this issue by pushing the bass up front during the choruses, whereas the minute-long coda features some cool, motorik beats and guitar leads. I understand Interpol chose a stripped approach, especially due to recording directly to tape. A part of the bare-bones structures didn’t need several overdubs for added oomph, they could’ve achieved the desired effect with some added delay or echo.

Fortunately, the record picks up towards the second half, where the mid-tempo, boogie groove of ‘Stay in Touch’ is mixed with classic Interpol drum patterns. Banks’ slick croon reveals some late night confessions as Daniel Kessler’s high-pitched, reverbed notes unfold. This is the overall setting Marauder shares, rich, shady people pub crawling in the dead of night. To add to the atmosphere, the two interludes reminisce outdoor cigarette breaks with muffled music heard from inside. Also, the driving, post punk ditty, ‘Number 10’ injects some adrenaline towards the end. The intertwining, buzzing guitars switch constantly from melodic to slightly dissonant progressions, having a pleasant effect. Moreover, ‘Surveillance’ benefits from Paul’s lower pitched vocals, a feature he should use more often. The lush guitar chords playing alongside him are beautiful, as well as the deeper bass during the second half. The drumming is a bit underwhelming though, relying on the same pattern and the snare sound isn’t stellar. Like a shimmering light of dawn, ‘It Probably Matters’ puts a humane end to this dive bar trip. Although the marauder and his crew leave for some sunny beaches, he doesn't forget that one dear person and wishes they spent more time together. The steady rhythm accompanies this defeat, however, the more uplifting guitars suggest better times are to come.

In my opinion, the progress this album made is this persona Paul Banks assumes. He became less opaque, portraying a predominantly arrogant, egoistic character (and he definitely got some inspiration from Narcos), loosely described as an absurd extension of himself from years ago when he had certain debauched habits. Then again, you can never really tell what the man had in mind and how much fiction is added. Even so, this is warmer than the pragmatic, immovable, introverted, elitist corporate guy (or at least that’s the perspective I imagined being sung from) who calculated his every move and seemed unable of expressing joy without justifying it from all sides. It also depicts a band that’s trying to unwind a bit and it’s good news actually. So, ultimately, Marauder cuts some sonic goodies in favor of a more tangible narrative. The songs have the standard Interpol quality, still, the highlights aren’t up there with the classic ones. It becomes better after a few listens, yet there’s some unexploited potential here I believe only hardcore fans will truly enjoy it.




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user ratings (147)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
Point1 (3)
Interpol's poorly-produced attempt to finally change things up inadvertently proves where their stre...



Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2018


4656 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

This is a bit out of my comfort zone, so I expect to get flayed haha. There are good songs, but others fall flat. There are more details to be added regarding the ups and downs of the LP, still, this unwinding process that might start could lead to more interesting music in the future.



'The Rover' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KmIMuLh4Vs

'Number 10' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy2Si-HvMZ0

'If You Really Love Nothing' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLk8i2zw2jU

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
August 25th 2018


14925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review ins. Completely agree with a lot of this, but I still think they delivered.

naughtcturnal
August 25th 2018


477 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review. Kinda scared to listen to this cuz I don't want to be disappointed after liking El Pintor so much and rediscovering Bright Lights

Digging: Existe - Esprit Sensible, Monde Fragile

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2018


4656 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Thanks! I am still waiting for the album to grow on me more, because I want to like it.



The longer you wait, the more you'll judge it by what others said about it. It always happens to me.

TheNemeton91
August 25th 2018


243 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hesitant to dive into this, as this is one of my favourite bands -- the crown jewel of the Post-Punk Revival movement -- in their twilight. All the same, I braved If You Really Love Nothing and it's hypnotically fantastic. Kristen Stewart's debased antics (puns, anyone?) added some charisma and memorability to the experience, and the aesthetic of the music video perfectly captures the tone You've set in this review.



The song does however capture the unflattering trait You've alluded - it floats along, albeit with grace, but never fully forms or explodes. Bit of a shame, but I adore the track more with each subsequent listen. Although the score wounds me lmao it's an excellent review, Insomniac :3

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2018


4656 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Thanks! I gave it repeated listens and although nothing is bad on the album, it feels a bit lazy at times (knowing their strengths)

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2018


17862 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2 | Sound Off

Good review. The singles didn't do a whole lot for me and I'm guessing it won't be quite as impressive as El Pintor was, but I'm sure there are some really great moments knowing them.

Digging: Prefab Sprout - Steve McQueen

Valkoor952
August 25th 2018


2453 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I actually found the rover to be very meh the 2-3 times i listened to it as a single, but damn I'm starting to love it within the album. It also helps that the quality is so much better than the youtube version.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 25th 2018


4656 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

Yeah, I started to dig The Rover a lot after some listens.



@Talons - There are cool moments, especially during the second half

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
August 25th 2018


14925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I particularly enjoyed "It Probably Matters". Pretty sweet closer tbh.

Gyromania
August 25th 2018


26100 Comments


Yawn

StickFeit
August 25th 2018


1012 Comments


Thing is getting better and better with each listen

LebowskiRams
August 25th 2018


6 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Unlike El Pintor, most ideas on Marauder feel fully fleshed out, even if they didn't have the potential as their predecessor's.

Tyler.
August 25th 2018


15644 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

im sure this is really solid

BrushedRed
August 26th 2018


2917 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

El Pintor is probably their best. This isn’t good. To me this is much less fleshed out. I think there are good songs here, they just weren’t fully realized. It’s a very frustrating album.

StickFeit
August 26th 2018


1012 Comments


There comes a day I will agree with you Brushed, I just know it.

But I can get behind your opinion

StickFeit
August 26th 2018


1012 Comments


There comes a day I will agree with you Brushed, I just know it.

But I can get behind your opinion

StickFeit
August 26th 2018


1012 Comments


Double post waddup

AcidCaravan
August 26th 2018


436 Comments


These dudes still around??! [Again] Damn. First album was great tho..if you've never listened to "Unknown Pleasures" before.

anatelier
August 26th 2018


2434 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

opener and the rover are great tracks but my interest dives off after them



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