Sound — 8
Before there was the UK's Editors, there was New York City's prog rock band Interpol. And before both of them there was the UK's Joy Division and Siouxsie And The Banshees heralding the banners of synth textured Brit-pop, shoegazey rock, and post punk garters. Holding steady to those garters is Interpol whose current release is a 6-track live EP from Capitol Records that was taped at the Astoria Club in London on July 2, 2007. Two songs from the live LP, Obstacle 1 and Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down are from Interpol's first disc Turn On The Bright Lights released in 2002, and the other four tracks, Pioneer To The Falls, Mammoth, The Heinrich Maneuver, and Rest My Chemistry are from the band's recent studio album, the critically acclaimed Our Love To Admire. The live performance enhances the haunting echo in lead singer/guitarist Paul Banks' voice, which resounds with a radiance that shares a likeness to the Editors lead singer Tom Smith on tracks like Pioneer To The Falls and The Heinrich Maneuver. The synth-textured guitar patterns of Banks and Daniel Kessler have a broad, shingled vibrancy while layering the shimmering tones in the bass pulls by Carlos Dengler and the blunt dabs of the drum strikes from Sam Fogarino. The sonic glaze of the guitar effects have a roots rock vibration reminiscent of Jeff Buckley wrapping around the melodics of The Heinrich Maneuver, and the rock buzz in the shoegaze textures for Mammoth have circular riffs that buildup and breakdown with synchronized swells reflective of Brit-pop's new wave artist Matt Johnson from The The. The songs have a crystally sonic sheen which produces a soft, ecclesiast synergy on Rest My Chemistry, which turns into tightly seamed notes and resounding flourishes on Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down. One very noticeable aspect about Interpol's music is that their standards have been unwavering, showing similar shoegazey rock swags in the tracks from their debut album, as they do in the songs from their current studio album Our Love To Admire in 2007.
Lyrics — 10
Not only has Interpol's music been unwavering producing synth-textured rock paradigms, but their lyrics have been consistent, always having a cryptic meaning whether you choose a song from their first album or one from their current disc. For instance, the band's song The Heinrich Maneuver is like a poem that could very well come from a personal experience but it's phrasing is open to interpretation, How are things on the west coast/ Hear you're moving real fine tonight/ You wore those shoes side to side/ Ah strut those shoes/ We'll go roaming in the night/ Well how are things on the west coast/ Yeah, but you're an actress, I don't identify. Interpol is a band that only they know what their words mean, and they are the type of band who probably cannot put their finger on it. The lyrics are definitely one of a kind.
Overall Impression — 8
Interpol Live shows the band in the best light, hearing the band perform live. In these tracks, you can hear the finer points of their music, the changes in the bass pulls and the dynamics in the guitar effects. Their studio albums are more of a reflection of the amount of production work that goes into their songs, specifically making them sound more automated, but live, their songs are more human and you can hear the intricate tooling that inlays the synth-propped layers of the songs. I definitely prefer the band's live album over their studio offerings. It is less technical and more emotionally impacted and vibrant.