Interpol - Marauder

by Tim Sentz Rating:7 Release Date:2018-08-24
Interpol - Marauder
Interpol - Marauder

It’s become apparent that the heavyweights from the early 2000s indie rock scene aren’t going to be recouping any of their creative juices any time soon. The Strokes haven’t made a truly great record since 2003, Modest Mouse are still touring behind a dreadful 2015 album, The Shins remixed their last album – always a good sign, and Bloc Party don’t even have the same members anymore.

Thankfully, Interpol has managed to side step a lot of those travesties. Most of them, anyway. Their self-titled album from 2010 was a tragedy, and while El Pintor wasn’t a total disaster, it was obvious we weren’t getting the grand follow-up to Antics that we’d been pleading for. Interpol hasn’t faded into obscurity though, and the egos of all band members have yet to exceed the band itself. Now acting as a trio, Interpol give us Marauder, a proper follow-up that is 100% fan-servicing, and there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.

Kicking things off spectacularly is “If You Really Love Nothing” with its thumping drums, laced with Paul Banks translucent voice. It may not be as strong as “Untitled” from Turn On the Bright Lights, but this is a different band now. “The Rover” was a decent first single, and its placement on the album makes sense. Banks lyrics have never been sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, and” The Rover” doesn’t break the mold on that either. In fact, Marauder is very gothic in content, dark and brooding in several areas.

There’s obviously going to be recycled riffs from previous outings, such is the case with rock bands in this vein. Those expecting a wild departure from what Interpol have done best are going to be severely disappointed. At this point in their careers, Interpol have perfected the post-punk revivalist/New York scene to the point of self-parody. It’s not particularly bad, it’s just lacking any thrills. Look at “Flight of Fancy,” a solid mid-album cut that is hooky, earwormy, and sounds 100% unmistakably like Interpol, and could fit on any of their albums. It’s reliable rock, and it won’t win awards, but it does its job.

“Mountain Child” is a little bit different, with Banks switching up his vocal delivery, removing that echoing for a more straightforward strain. What follows is more of the same from the band, but it’s handled so well there’s no reason to complain. Interpol are purveyors of a brief time-capsuled movement that they managed to survive, where others succumbed to in-fighting or just became too boring. And maybe that’s the greatest strength of Marauder is that it’s not pretending to be anything. After 16 years in the game, most bands start phoning it in, but Interpol sound reinvigorated – maybe even having fun?

There’s nothing to deter the listener from finishing Marauder, it’s filled with trustworthy sounds that are at this point trademarked by Interpol. There’s two 1-minute interludes that don’t seem to have any purpose here, and have odd placement, but they go by so fast it’s hard to even notice them in the grand scheme of the album. And while the album does seem to drag on for some time with little deviation, it’s one of the better showings from that retired New York scene that everyone was buying leather jackets and sunglasses for in 2001.

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