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Interpol
TURN ON THE BRIGHT LIGHTS
(MATADOR)

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The New York City band Interpol do little to hide their obvious debt to Joy Division. Singer Paul Banks has Ian Curtisís vocal despondency down pat, and the choppy, minimalist chords and foreboding bass lines are all in keeping with the Manchester band that spawned New Order. "PDA," "Hands Away," and "NYC" even spiral toward the bliss-lined-with-terror keyboard atmospheres that ended so many Joy Division songs. And just as Joy Division fed off singer Ian Curtisís manic desperation and urgency, Interpol have a similar dynamic with Banks.

"Say Hello to the Angels" begins with frenetic guitar strumming reminiscent of Joy Divisionís "Transmission" but ends up in a Motownish shuffle that brings to mind the Jamís "Town Called Malice." There are echoes of R.E.M.ís early jangle in "Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down," and the spirited "Roland" bears traces of Echo & the Bunnymenís glory years. Itís in alluding to these bands that Interpol find their own charms ó not as post-punk clones, but as preservers and extenders of a sound and an era.

BY ANNIE ZALESKI

Issue Date: October 17 - October 24, 2002
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