Rusty on the edges
New York City rock band Interpol is relentless with their incessant production of alternative rock albums that overflow with originality. New York City is home to Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studio and the remaining bricks of the infamous dive bar CBGB, but Interpol does not shy away from nor follow in the footsteps of the legendary bands that have left their tracks in the city that never sleeps. Interpol released A Fine Mess on May 17th, and this EP is by far the most genre-reckless release in their discography. From the psychedelia of echoing synth and the punk-esque kiss of orchestral chaos, Interpol is playing into their talents with precise intention.
Album title track “A Fine Mess” taps into a shredding rhythm. Lyrical shouting kicks off the track with high-intensity sound waves sweeping you off your feet. The vocal melody ripples into this Muse-like atmosphere at 1:51 while the bassline taunts you with psychedelic sensations that tingle all over. The band takes a big breath in “No Big Deal” as cohesive stand-still rock maintains a steady tempo. The band plays within the lines here, rather than tearing at the seams.
Interpol dives into The Strokes territory with a classic indie-rock humming vocal melody and guitar worth learning the chords to. Clocking in at 4:27, “Real Life” steals the most play time on the EP and it’s worth every second. With a raspy grunge appeal, the vocals rip into the chorus with lyrical cynicism to introduce you to the “Real Life.” The track drowns out into the distance like a getaway car escaping the inevitable.
Shaky, spoken tone lets you into Interpol’s filter track “Weekend.” This track is impeccably layered with voice, drums, bass and guitar that make scraps of nothing become tangible sounds of glorify-able rock. Closing out the EP is the negligent track “Thrones” that offers little other than lyrical confusion and a wavering downbeat. Interpol’s A Fine Mess is quite literally a fine mess, with tracks worth listening to on repeat but also missed opportunities where the band played it safe. Interpol’s best cards are played when their whole deck is laid out flat–for listeners to hear their originality through and through.