If you believe the hype machine, Interpol is supposed to follow in the footsteps of The Strokes and become the next big band out of New York. From a listen to this three song EP that previews a forthcoming full-length CD, the evidence is inconclusive. But don’t come in expecting them to sound just like The Strokes. Whereas that band takes their cues from The Velvet Underground and Television, Interpol sounds a bit like Joy Division on the opening “PDA.” There’s also a pulsing Cure-like quality to the track and a nice ’80s guitar sound. “We have 200 couches where you can sleep tight,” guitarist Paul Banks sings enigmatically.
He sounds a bit like Dan Wilson of Semisonic on the well-produced, dreamy guitar soundscape “NYC.” Banks shares guitar duties with Daniel Kessler. Depeche Mode and Erasure producer Gareth Jones mixed the tracks here.
Bassist Carlos Dengler figures prominently on the final track, “Specialist,” which sounds like early Echo and the Bunnymen. “You make me lose my buttons / Oh yeah you make me spit,” Banks sings. “I don’t like my clothes anymore / Take me to New Orleans / Oh you put me to the test / I know what my heart is for.”
In the ’80s, there were probably a million bands that sounded just like Interpol. Now there aren’t, so they sound like a breath of fresh air. They also sound just a tad silly in our post-ironic era. Next big thing? Maybe of 1982. The jury’s still out on whether folks will fall for these New Yorkers twenty years later.