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Interpol - Matador
FILTER Grade: 81%

By Ken Scrudato on August 31, 2010



The recent departure of His Vampiric Majesty, Carlos D., from Interpol leaves a gothic black hole in a band that always seemed to be lurching towards the light while yet deeply rooted in the mire. Tellingly, on its fourth (burnt) offering, which still features the talents of Herr D, the band intermittently reins in the threatening atmospherics and even comes off a bit like R.E.M. or the Red House Painters. Paul Banks’ ever commanding (and yes, demanding) vocals are, indeed, at times less ominously stentorian, merely world-weary, while his lyrics—“Don’t turn away and leave me to bleed in this hole of a place”—continue to mine the fertile veins of contemporary alienation and fear for all they can possibly yield. True, a few of these compositions will probably end up soundtracking your next funeral party; but there are hints of a band yearning to crawl out from under the weight of its own history. One only wishes they’d more bravely face down the addiction to always having to “sound” like Interpol. But, if, as Goethe once observed, “character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world,” these gentlemen are surely the better for the experience of having made yet another uncompromising tempest of an album.

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