Hey, you, nice shirt! Photo by Laurie Scavo.
One has to wonder if Interpol feels a bit cornered these days. The band continues to crank out respectable, darkly-melodic post-punk, but its lack of stylistic variance rivals its same-y NYC brethern the Strokes from album to album. The band’s new disc? May as well be “Antics” Part II. Interpol’s Sunday night show at the Fillmore Auditorium did little to dispel notions that the band is suffering from road weariness and boredom with its own catalog…
Granted, the quartet has never been known for its zany, energetic stage shows (leave that to openers Liars, a band that failed that communicate the galvanizing fun of its records). And Interpol just wouldn’t be Interpol without Joy Division-aping monotone and too-cool suits and ‘tudes. But we’ve heard and seen it all before, and it was more fun the first time around. It’s especially disconcerting now that half-a-jillion other bands have appropriated Interpol’s sound.
The Fillmore has never been a particularly great venue, either, with booming acoustics and frequently terrible sightlines. It took the sound mixers at least a half-dozen songs to get Paul Banks’ voice fully audible — right around the time the band played the lead single ( “The Heinrich Maneuver”) from its new album (“Our Love to Admire.”) But even the high points (“Evil,” “Pioneer to the Falls”) felt more terrestrial than they should have.
Aside from the tasteful, suitably New York-ish light show, the band had little new to offer. The damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t bind is a tight one, because countless fans would no doubt cry foul if Interpol tinkered with its sound. But after the half-full Fillmore show, which led to more toe-tapping and polite clapping than cheering or swooning, it’s starting to seem better than this current path.
– John Wenzel