Interpol - Antics

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:2004-09-27

The number of modern rock bands pillaging from the early '80s continues to increase exponentially, but Antics, the second album from New York's Interpol, confirms they're still a cut above all but The Rapture in the elegance of their steals. Building on the twin pillars of arch detachment and icy rock instrumentation laid out on 2002's Turn On The Bright Lights, this is a record that holds its moments of genuine emotional insight under tight rationing - but luckily, such stoicism only increases its long-term pay-off. The Interpol we know and love gels best for the remarkable "Take You on a Cruise", tangled affairs of the heart rendered magisterially through one of Banks' cryptic riddles: "The pretence is not what restricts me/ It's the circles inside". But while there are welcome deviations from the hymn sheet - take "Next Exit", a graceful introduction that cruises along on the drumbeat from The Ronettes' "Be My Baby" - it's when the edgier influences poke through the gaps that Interpol truly thrill: Daniel Kessler's intricate, Television-style guitar work, simultaneously terse and expressive on "Evil" - or Carlos Dengler's elastic, roaming bassline, as familiar in its own way as those of Joy Division's Peter Hook. --Louis Pattison

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