I used to be a big interpol fan, before the release of Turn on the Bright Lights. I cherished this band that was bound to break big. I was a bit disappointed by TOTBL because "Precipitate" and "Song 7" were nowhere to be found, and also because I didn't understand what "Say Hello to the Angels" was doing there. I got over that and now i like both the album and "Say Hello to the Angels" very much.
I was a bit disappointed by Antics, more or less in the same way. First, still no "Precipitate" or "Song 7", which will probably never be re-recorded. I don't like the new, heavily slow version of "A Time to Be So Small," I'm not a big fan of "Length of Love" either. Now for the rest: the lazy opener "Next Exit" will probably work better live than on disc but it's still a nice opener. "Evil" is my favourite song off the album and undeniably one of the best songs they've written. Dengler is still an impressive bass player. Kessler's guitar work is impressively efficient as well.
Last time I talked with Carlos he told me that he was the only member who could still listen to Joy Division as the rest were getting really tired of the JD/Interpol comparisons. This can be heard in Antics: it hardly sounds like Joy Division anymore (it was just a lazy rock critic comparison anyway) apart from Banks' troubled tone.
"Narc" is tight and built around a fragile guitar riff. The bridge is really impressive and Banks desperately sings "you should be in my space / you should be in my life." He howls about rejection and rough loneliness throughout the record, lending some kind of thematical unity to it. "Take Me On a Cruise" is another impressive piece, serpentine and three-dimensional (if that means anything to you). "Black goddess / black goddess / black temptress of the sea you treat me right." I really like "Slow Hands" but it took some time for me to appreciate it. It sounds a lot like Franz Ferdinand, except not really happy. The video is awful though. Banks utters "can't you see what you've done to my heart and soul ? / this is the wasteland now," nodding at Joy Division (in "Not Even Jail" he also sings : "this is a meaning to the means to your end"), maybe coming to terms with that band, and delivering a perfect line. "Not Even Jail" and "Public Pervert" are dark labyrinthic pieces, i appreciate the way they're constructed but they don't really seem that special to me. "C'mere" as an incredible single, catchy and cold but as comfortable as a nap in the summer shade. I don't like "Length of Love" and "A Time to Be So Small."
Far from being disappointing, Antics is Interpol's way out of a tricky situation -making peace with the past and truly establishing themselves as an important band- and a hint at an even more promising future.
/oct 1st 2004/