Interpol
A Fine Mess


2.4
average

Review

by Simon STAFF
May 18th, 2019 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A F̶i̶n̶e̶ Mess

Upon hearing “Fine Mess” for the first time, I was foolishly caught off guard – aghast by its intensely raw and messy production. By the time I’d finished the 5-track EP I was damn well convinced A Fine Mess was, on some level, a kind of esoteric meta-commentary on last year’s album and the 5 songs that were birthed from those sessions for this record. Yes, Marauder was a somewhat polarizing piece of work; a stripped bare, no-nonsense rock album with a production choice best described as Marmite amongst fan perception. It was an acquired taste, to be sure. That being said, I was on the side of the fence that quite enjoyed the raw nature to a song like “NYSMAW” – as well as the spontaneous and flimsy approach to riffing. It was a style that added a twist to their mainstay sound, succumbing to their punky side and opting for a crude aesthetic over the richly detailed layers of yore. As a collective though, the record isn’t considered to be one of their accolades, so it comes as a bit of a bewildering surprise that A Fine Mess even exists. There’s just no escaping the grip of these tracks feeling like B-sides. It has its moments of course – the rhythm section is as punchy and alert as ever, holding banality at bay more often than not – but the EP is consumed by this crux entirely.

I’ve never particularly agreed with this raw recording choice for Interpol, I still maintain the notion that El Pintor’s lush purity works best for them, but at the very least the songwriting for Marauder was there – it just so happened that the writing style and its production worked with coincidental and synergistic results. Here, the sound just comes across obnoxious and draws the life out of the songs. The vocals on “Fine Mess” are butchered beyond belief, lathered in an odious white-noise effect that actually hurt my ears while I was listening to it. Further frustration dawned on me when I realised the song itself, with a brighter sound, had serious potential. The hallmarks and classic Interpol template are there – the funky bass, poignant guitar passages and cathartic choruses filled with lamenting melodies are buried at the heart of it – but the rough sound does little to represent its prospects. Ultimately, A Fine Mess is a subpar offering that sounds like you’d imagine it to: a handful of B-sides with varying degrees of enjoyment, made worse by a myriad of problems. Devoted fans should find a meagre portion of redemption here, but to the casual listener this will bring little enjoyment to the table.

FORMAT//EDITIONS: DIGITAL/̶/̶C̶D̶/̶/̶V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶/̶/̶V̶A̶R̶I̶O̶U̶S̶ ̶B̶U̶N̶D̶L̶E̶S̶

PACKAGING: N/A

SPECIAL EDITION BONUSES: N/A

ALBUM STREAM//PURCHASE: https://shop.interpolnyc.com/products/a-fine-mess-ep



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user ratings (52)
Chart.
2.7
average
other reviews of this album
Earl55551 (3.5)
Certainly a mess, but a fine one...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Gyromania
May 18th 2019


28185 Comments


edit

Gyromania
May 18th 2019


28185 Comments


with all the huge releases as of late, i was super excited when i saw the review for this on the front page. i didn't even know they had new material coming out. disappointed to hear this one is average. el pintor was a pretty great album.

rodrigo90
May 18th 2019


5527 Comments


As an interpol fanboy, I can't hate anything they do. Not even the self-titled, and that's probably their weakest effort.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
May 18th 2019


15512 Comments

Album Rating: 2.4

The s/t is one of my faves... lol

Digging: Slipknot - We Are Not Your Kind

Valkoor952
May 18th 2019


2700 Comments


s/t is underrated
It's also better than Marauder

Point1
May 18th 2019


662 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

S/t absolutely underrated, their 3rd best album IMO.



Look... Interpol is my favourite band. And this popped up on my Spotify yesterday and I put off listening to it. I'm glad they're getting the messy raw thing out of their system but what I hear here are some pretty decent songs that are intentionally fucked up to hell and unlistenable. "Fine Mess" is at its core one of the best songs they've written in a while, but do I actually want to listen to it? No.



HOWEVER, anyone here who isn't enough of a fanboy to have tracked this down/bought the vinyl - there's an unreleased song just on the vinyl called "All at Once" which is their best song since 2010 running away. I haven't seen it posted on Youtube but keep an eye out because it really is something.

bloc
May 18th 2019


56999 Comments


S/T is def underrated. Band is also one of my all time favs, so I can't see myself giving this anything less than a 3 lol

Digging: Ultravox - Vienna

anarchistfish
May 18th 2019


27780 Comments


t/t is good

Digging: Young Thug - So Much Fun

theBoneyKing
May 18th 2019


17070 Comments


I’m just getting into this band, only heard the first two but I guess I’ll give this a go when I’m done listening to The National nonstop

Valkoor952
May 18th 2019


2700 Comments


Go chronologically Boney, this and Marauder is their worst.

After TOTBL and Antics, El Pintor is 3rd best and after that it's between OLTA and the S/T (I prefer each on different days)

anarchistfish
May 18th 2019


27780 Comments


definitely start with their début. El Pintor bangs too. the rest of their stuff is very polarised. some stuff you can't miss out on though, like rest my chemistry.

think Narc is probably one of my top 5 interpol songs now too

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
May 18th 2019


16606 Comments


"esoteric"
neg

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
May 19th 2019


15512 Comments

Album Rating: 2.4

Yeah el pintor is definitely my favourite album by these guys. I’d love a continuation on from that

Darius the Great
May 19th 2019


20738 Comments


the site can handle strikethroughs but not question marks

what a world

Tokyochuchu
May 20th 2019


95 Comments


I loved Marauder. Probably my personal favourite Interpol album. This EP is the sh*ts, though.

bloc
May 23rd 2019


56999 Comments


Ok yeah this kinda sucks

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
May 24th 2019


15512 Comments

Album Rating: 2.4

indeed. dull songs made worse with a production that doesn't suit them

BrushedRed
May 26th 2019


3142 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This isn’t bad nor good. It just exists

Valkoor952
May 26th 2019


2700 Comments


Deep



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