Friday, November 22, 2013

Pitchfork List: Interpol's Turn on the Bright Lights

The first album from Interpol is a strong one. Interpol has a very different sound from any band I've heard. Prior to this album I had heard only one song from the band, "Evil", and I enjoyed it. I hadn't ever taken the time to further explore their music until the perfect opportunity presented itself. I hadn't heard any tunes from Turn on the Bright Lights, but there are quite a few that were stand out on a debut album.

History: Interpol is apart of the genre of post punk. The guys released their album in 2002, and found that it was a huge hit in the U.K. It also became a hit in the U.S. Over time the album has gotten more attention, and recently celebrated a remastered release in 2012. The album had several singles come from the album. The album has also appeared on my many list naming it the best album of the year it was released to the best album in the past decade.

Vocals: Paul Banks' vocals are unique, and one of the rare occasions that sounding like a robot isn't exactly a bad thing. The monotone rhythm of his voice matches the eerie instrumentals. In songs like "Obstacle 1" it provides the perfect combination for a song I wanted to listen to again and again. I felt that without the vocals sounding the way it did it would have taken away a lot from the music. All the elements of the lyrics, the vocals and the instruments come together to create a steady tone through each song.

Instrumentals: The guitar was the stand out for me. Daniel Kessler is on lead guitar, and the pacing and the rhythm are different but in the similar patterns throughout the album. It gives the band a staple sound outside of the vocals to identify them by.  Carlos D also performs on bass and keyboard. The bass is also memorable because it's one of the rare occasions that the bass is given a more prominent part in a tune. The drums also are great performed by Samuel Fogarino.

Recording: The recording is 2002, but I think the album sounds like it could have been released yesterday. The tone is one that transitions with time well. The lyrics are really vague though, and mostly spooky. I'm still uncertain how I feel about bands trying to be so vague in their lyrics now. This album does lack a little of the crispness on Antics though. This one feels more raw, and less cleaned up than the one to follow this one, but that is natural for a debut.

Interpol is one band that I will keep listening to. I find that the band creates a tone that goes the lengths to make an album that feels a story is playing out as you listen because the songs are cohesive with one another. The album runs a little on the long side with some lengthy tunes, but with a couple of stands and a song that ties up the end of the album well, "Leif Erikson" it's a strong debut.

Rating 8 of 10.

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