Interpol’s 2002 debut, Turn on the Bright Lights, was a damning success. The band arrived too fully formed, setting expectations unattainably high for their subsequent follow-ups. Unattainable, though, because critics and fans are conditioned to expect a band to evolve, topping their previous achievements. Interpol do not evolve. They work instead to hone a singular sound, refining a melancholy mixture of post-punk and professional indie rock, and delving deeper into its exploration.
Interpol has two key sounds: atmospheric and driving. On their last album, Our Love to Admire, the band dabbled in shoegaze, emphasizing its music at its most ethereal, but Interpol is leaner and more driving. The guitars and drums on “Lights” (see video, after the jump) are the hardest they’ve been since “Slow Hands” from the sophomore album, Antics.