Thereâ€™s a quote from the film version of â€œTrainspottingâ€ 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, â€œWell, at one time, youâ€™ve got it, and then you lose it and itâ€™s gone forever. All walks of life: George Best, for example, had it, lost it. Or David Bowie, or Lou Reed … â€
I could argue that David Bowie never quite lost the â€œitâ€ Sick Boy spoke of, but I fear Interpolâ€™s new self-titled album may signal they have.
Interpolâ€™s best â€œitâ€ moments have always been confined to claustrophobic post-punk arrangements that make you feel simultaneously introverted and badass. The bandâ€™s first album, 2001â€™s â€œTurn on the Bright Lights,â€ was full of them.
Jump from 2001 to 2010 and the moments have become fewer and farther between. â€œInterpolâ€ opens well enough with â€œSuccess,â€ a song with driving drums and bass that have always been the foundation for Interpolâ€™s highlights.
The fun is short-lived. Momentum for the record dies almost before itâ€™s built, and the LP slips into a series of mid-tempo flops. There are moments of intrigue like the intro to â€œTry It On,â€ 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 â€œPDA,â€ a song from â€œTurn on the Bright Lights,â€ Paul Banks sings, â€œYou are the only person whoâ€™s completely certain there is nothing here to be into.â€ For this latest record, though, Iâ€™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 email@example.com.