Interpol have made a triumphant return with El Pintor, their first album since 2010’s Interpol. With the departure of original bassist Carlos Dengler shortly after the completion of that release, the band went on a hiatus right after supporting the album with a tour. Lead singer and guitarist Paul Banks reconvened with lead guitarist Daniel Kessler and drummer Sam Fogarino wanting to make some more music. Banks picked up the bass and El Pintor soon fell into place with the new band configuration. Touring band member Brandon Curtis contributed keys on nine of the ten tracks as well. The band toured minimally this summer and were a major highlight on the third day of The Governors Ball and are now touring the United States this fall with a two night stand taking place at Terminal 5 in November.
The album starts off with rocker “All The Rage Back Home.” The band announces right away that they are back and ready to be back playing live in front of crowds. The entire album sees the band happy to be back and re-taking their position as a top rock band from New York. “My Desire” has Banks’s voice soaring over beautiful guitar solos by Kessler. The back to back placement of these songs to start off the album give Interpol fans exactly what they want from this band, great rock songs that you can dance to and get lost in.
“Same Town, New Story” keeps the driving beats by Fogarino going with slick guitar parts added by Kessler. Banks’s and Kessler’s voices, for the first time on the album, meld together beautifully throughout the song. The lyrics may not be the most subtle of El Pintor, but the band makes them work flawlessly. “My Blue Supreme” and “Everything Is Wrong” are not up to par with the rest of the album. The band hits its stride and doesn’t push itself in the middle of the album. When the album gets to “Tidal Wave” they break back through and bring the album home. The dense layering of instruments and vocals is easily one of the highlights of the album. The song is unlike anything else on the album and hopefully is a direction the band will continue to explore.
El Pintor is a great return to form for the band that had to show the world they were back to being the band everyone remembers from the early 2000s. The personnel may have changed a bit, but the band still has its unique sound ready for the masses to eat up. Interpol fans should rejoice as the band is back and is ready to take on the world again.
Key Tracks: All The Rage Back Home, Same Town, New Story, Tidal Wave