Interpol had it, lost it

Sep 152010
Authors: Nic Turiciano

There’s a quote from the film version of “Trainspotting” that has always stuck with me. One of the main characters, Sick Boy, makes a comment while aiming a pellet gun at a dog. He says, “Well, at one time, you’ve got it, and then you lose it and it’s gone forever. All walks of life: George Best, for example, had it, lost it. Or David Bowie, or Lou Reed … ”

I could argue that David Bowie never quite lost the “it” Sick Boy spoke of, but I fear Interpol’s new self-titled album may signal they have.

Interpol’s best “it” moments have always been confined to claustrophobic post-punk arrangements that make you feel simultaneously introverted and badass. The band’s first album, 2001’s “Turn on the Bright Lights,” was full of them.

Jump from 2001 to 2010 and the moments have become fewer and farther between. “Interpol” opens well enough with “Success,” a song with driving drums and bass that have always been the foundation for Interpol’s highlights.

The fun is short-lived. Momentum for the record dies almost before it’s built, and the LP slips into a series of mid-tempo flops. There are moments of intrigue like the intro to “Try It On,” when Interpol chose to use an out-of-the-box (especially for them) piano line from which they launch the song.

Unfortunately, most of these moments are blanketed with two-note guitar lines and worn out melodies.

On “PDA,” a song from “Turn on the Bright Lights,” Paul Banks sings, “You are the only person who’s completely certain there is nothing here to be into.” For this latest record, though, I’m confident I will be part of the rule and not the exception when I say that this album has nothing to offer.

Music reviewer Nic Turiciano can be reached at

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