A baker’s dozen of tunes from the mid-2000s indie bands who have grown old with the most grace. Marauder’s lead single ‘The Rover’ kind of sounds like Preoccupations having a go at covering ‘Mr. Blue Sky’, and in its own way it’s a charming post-punk ditty. They should have really called it Our Love to Maraud, but then again Interpol are not a band famed for their sense of humour.
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My mum always told me that if inspiration is waning when making an album then always start with a good song and end with a good one. It's very possible then that people will easily forget what was in the middle. Interpol here start in excellent style with 'If You Really Love Nothing' but they end in even better circumstances. Closer 'It Probably Matters' is one of my favourite Interpol songs in years. It seems to bring back the superb guitar interplay that made their debut 'Turn On The Bright Lights' such a winner. A strange swirling sound with nods to the early Simple Minds and the Sound. It's the song where Interpol rediscover the sense of dynamics and the strange lyrics that has often made them one of my favourite guitar bands over the last decade.
Elsewhere 'Marauder' continued the idea of playing AS LOUDLY AS POSSIBLE that the band used on 'El Pintor' in order to try to convince the listeners they still have 'it'. 'The Rover' for example has a chord structure in the verse that Status Quo may even reject for being too staid yet it's saved with a rather great little chorus. And it's these melodic twists and turns that generally stop 'Marauder' from being a pleasant if forgettable sludge. Paul Banks has always had a way with an eerie vocal line but this difference between this and their early albums is space. Interpol no longer fill the gaps between their instruments with it and instead swirl everything together so there's no separation whatsoever and therefore no dynamics. Everything is LOUD with no respite which means that you can forget the brooding atmospherics that made their early work so special. Only 'Stay In Touch' drops the pace a bit and even there the damn thing is so compressed it's hard to hear what individual instruments are doing amongst the sludge.
Still, 'Marauder' has enough hooks to keep fans happy. If you like Interpol you are going to find a few things here to enjoy. Individually there's a few great tracks here and it is best taken in small doses but if you are going to listen to it whole then best bring ear mufflers.
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