Interpol. No, I'm not talking about the International Criminal Police Organization. I'm talking about the former independent and now not-as-independent-but-still-trying-to-sound-independent post-punk band, Interpol! I had heard of that name having been tossed about during the past few years, but with my head stuck up trance's ass, I probably passed them up, thinking they were just another silly emo band whose music really unbalanced teenagers killed themselves to. But perhaps I have been a tad harsh on these young, hip individuals. Heck, I've never even met them. Perhaps I should finally see what all the fuss and clamor is about, right? So, with the aid of an indie-loving girlfriend, in conjunction with a willingness to test out new genres of music that I usually steer clear of, I will have myself a grand listening of Interpol's 2007 album, "Our Love To Admire".
Let's see just how this album starts off, shall we? Only a few seconds in, and Pioneer To The Falls is already striking with minor chords. How malicious! But soon, the pads fade in and eventually, those vocals begin. They're nothing special, but at least nobody is screaming at me, so that's a plus in my book. Well, as I listen to this song, I come to a single realization: I don't understand the random ranting lyrics found commonly within indie music. I have no idea what the lead singer, the ever-moaning Paul Banks, is trying to get across to me, but whatever deep message it is, it's lost on me. Anyway, the next track, No I In Threesome, already hooks me with its title, but I'm hoping there's a little more than just shock value from the name. But frankly, no, there's not much else. It's one of those songs that would blend well in the background of a party on Gossip Girl. The Scale falls in line with a slightly harder guitar and boasts a slower pace. It feels a bit too generic to stand out, although I did enjoy the distorted guitar near the end. We need more of that effect... everywhere!
The Heinrich Maneuver was the first single to jump off this album, and it certainly sounds like Interpol. It's pretty much a combination of all the general sounds of the first three tracks, pummeled together to form a fun-loving road song. It's not superb, but it's far from awful too. There's a monotone guitar that's practically beeping at me like my pain-in-the-ass alarm clock around 0:51 though, which is pretty irritating if you pay attention to it too much. Otherwise, it's a fair track, though not one I'd listen to ten times over. The next track, Mammoth, was also a single; this song feels like it has a bit of a mixture of influences, but overall, I'd say it's just that this is what you'd expect from an indie alternative band: funky guitar work, the occasional off-chording, and whiny-style vocals with accompanying lyrics that only the band knows the truth about. Pace Is The Trick starts off sounding like old legendary rock from Pink Floyd perhaps, but leads to another average song that is Gossip Girl material. Perhaps that's where songs like this ought to stay, so that only the exciting ones can be left for me to hear.
With a title like All Fired Up, you would expect some raw energy, and the introduction led me to believe that it could be true. Aside from a bit of blazing guitar work, there really isn't anything to get fired up about this tune. There isn't much we haven't already heard so far. Rest My Chemistry is a bit more chilled-out, which I can be thankful for. The piano intro is worth noting, even though it is short-lived. I could see myself lounging out to this one, drowning out the lyrics but still enjoying the slow, sensual groove buried within. If there is a notable track to be found here, this may just be it. The next tune, Who Do You Think, switches quickly from sparse chords to an alternative rock festival for the ears. You can tell they are trying to sound a bit poppy here, and it works, but not for me. Wrecking Ball has a bit of a Sloan vibe to it. I respect Sloan and their music, and that love transfers somewhat well to this track. It's fairly decent; it won't get you up on your feet, but it won't put you to sleep either. Just relax... Try to intake the vocals in stride though, because they can be a bit whiny at times. Okay, they will be whiny for certain, so approach with caution. The grand finale is The Lighthouse, a slow track with rolling desperado guitar wails that tries to be dramatic, and achieves it but does not maintain any particular level of majesty. Ambience is great to fall back on, but only if done right. This one hardly breaks any boundaries and could actually be seen as a disappointing ending.
My girlfriend owes me one for this. However, I am not completely soured by the experience. Perhaps I am even a tad enlightened about the indie rock scene! To be honest though, this isn't exactly an album that is accessible to me, but I certainly could not declare it as a travesty either. There's good to be found here, and fans of the genre should be able to gobble this up like a holiday pheasant. But I'm going to have to give this an average grade, mainly because it failed to either inspire me or give me a blistering headache. And at the end of the day, I shall walk away with my head held high that I took a dive into music I wouldn't normally listen to, vitalized by a new sense of culturalization, thanks to the fine fellows of Interpol.