NYC boys come out to play

Interpol shines on new indie label

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The Spectrum

Artist: Interpol

Album: Interpol

Label: Matador Records

Release date: September 7

Grade: B

Light up your cigarettes and grab all your hipster friends: Interpol is back.

For Interpol's self-titled album, the band left the confines of a major label to resign with indie label Matador. The release finds a band increasingly comfortable with its style of arena rock for the indie crowd.

Bassist Carlos Dengler must not have felt the same way, as he left the band shortly after the album's completion. This means that this will be the last release from Interpol's original lineup.

Consider this a nice farewell. The album sounds cleaner than their past releases. This surprisingly works to their advantage as it gives the band's music a new shine that emits more warmth than previous efforts.

The album gets off to an excellent start with "Success." Singer Paul Banks is in fine form during this song, which features the kind of grandiose lyrics fans have come to expect from the band.

"I have succeeded/I won't compete for long/I'm not supposed to show you/I've got two secrets/But I only told you one," Banks sings.

Fans might have been surprised to find that the band was selected to open for U2 on their latest tour. Upon hearing The Edge-like guitar work on "Memory Serves," it becomes instantly clear that the band aimed to create songs that can rock out the largest of stadiums.

For the most part, the band succeeded. "Lights" contains an arena-sized riff that builds up until Banks finally settles into a repeating chant of "That's why I hold you dear."

While the disc is consistent and clean, it is not exactly as strong as their previous albums. Despite the album's cohesiveness, there is a lack of standout tracks that demand play out of the confines of the album.

The band might have become too comfortable when making the album. While lead single "Barricade" is a fun track, it doesn't contain the immediacy of "Evil" or "The Heinrich Maneuver." Though some of the tracks toward the end of the album are adequate, they are less memorable than songs found on the first half.

Still, this is an interesting release from a band that can never be the same again. Where the group will go from here remains unknown. For now, the band offers a tight set of songs fans should hear at loud volumes and before Bono hits the stage.