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Interpol

 

continued

But the key influence the critics missed, I think, is Echo & the Bunnymen, the most exciting, aggressive rock band from the postpunk crowd. Like the Bunnymen, Interpol can turn a set of mystifying but evocative couplets, backed by one or two intense, ferocious chords, into a grandiose romantic gesture that never loses its cool. Their second album, Antics (2004), includes the misleadingly named "Public Pervert," which is actually an alluring, slowly building come-on: "So swoon, baby, starry nights / May our bodies remain / As deep we move, I'll feed you light."

Interpol's appeal isn't nostalgic. They've made a new art out of their influences' sounds and moods, built on the tension between their music's cold exterior and the warmth and passion — the "bright lights" — at its heart. For me, seeing them open for the Cure at last year's Curiosa Festival evoked the opposite of nostalgia: the feeling that the past and future are happening at the same time. Now, I'm anxious to see them on their own in the perfect setting for them: an old, dark theater.

Interpol plays the Michigan Theater on Sunday, September 25.

[Review published September 2005]    (end of article)

 

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