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Music Review: Marauder – Interpol (Danny Rinaldi)

Written by on September 26, 2018

By Danny Rinaldi

Successful post-punk indie outfit, Interpol, returns for their sixth studio release with Marauder. This album, while undoubtedly suffering from some degree of production issues, proves to be an exciting release for the group as it projects a certain energy and rawness that’s distinct compared to Interpol’s previous efforts. 

It’s no mystery that between the many bands that emerged from the 2000s post-punk revival, Interpol is especially unique in their style and sound. They’re known for their killer bass lines, eccentric lead guitar riffs, and up-front, booming drum beats. These characteristics are more present than ever on Marauder. The opening track, “If You Really Love Nothing” is one of the standouts. It’s one of the most accessible tracks, is pretty darn catchy, and accompanies a rather aesthetically pleasing music video starring Kristen Stewart. The lead single, “The Rover,” has this wacky lead guitar line that takes some getting used to, but is another stellar track. Lead vocalist Paul Banks frequently sings in a higher register throughout Marauder, which is an interesting change that I find benefits most of the tracks. This can be heard on the awe inspiring closer, “It Probably Matters”, which starts with a sensual shuffling beat and Paul coming off more vulnerable than ever before. Without a doubt, this album has a lot of tracks to like. However, the main drawback of the album has to be the production by Dave Fridmann. While Fridmann has a back catalog of some great work, from The Flaming Lips to MGMT’s newest LP, Little Dark Age (highly recommended btw), the choices he made when mixing this record are questionable at best. With most of the songs here, the drums are extremely prominent and aggressive in the mix. On top of that, the lead guitar work occasionally goes from stylishly raw to sloppy, and these mixing and performance issues work against the atmosphere Interpol is known for on prior releases. 

After many of listens of Marauder, I’ve looked past the production issues and really enjoy the songs here. For Interpol fans, this is a solid release if you really give it a chance with repeated listens. If you’re new to the band I’d recommend starting with their stunningly brilliant debut, Turn On The Bright Lights; as Marauder may be a bit too rough around the edges for new listeners. 

Highlights: “If You Really Love Nothing,” “Flight of Fancy,” & “Mountain Child”

Rating: 3.8 / 5