Review: Interpol, ‘Marauder’

Interpol members Sam Fogarino, left, Paul Banks and Daniel Kessler (Matador Records)

“Rock n’ roll bitch. I’m into it.”

The word ‘maraud’ means to wander, loot and attack. This is the ethos that carries throughout Interpol’s sixth studio album, Marauder. Broken into three acts, the listener follows this loose-cannon-of-a-protagonist and can’t help but relate to the misguided and misunderstood rover described throughout the record.

Mr. Maraud roams frivolously between partners and places, unconsciously pilfer remorse and shame and grapples with his accountability. Consisting of three members this time around — Paul Banks, Daniel Kessler and Sam Forgarino — each player shares their enthusiasm about the completion of Marauder.

“Marauder is a character that appears in a number of the songs,” said Banks (vocals/bass/rhythm guitar) in an interview in Mexico City.  “It is sort of an isolated figure. Looking at yourself from an abstract point of view…but a little bit more direct and a little bit more autobiographical. ”

“It’s a representation of the band,” said Kessler (lead guitar) in the same interview. “It’s supposed to be the next chapter.”

“Well, our newest child, Marauder, this is our best record yet,” said Sam Forgarino (drums).

The early aught indie rock ensemble isolated themselves at a recording studio with producer, David Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, MGMT) during the dark and the winter snow in Cassadaga, New York in Oct. of 2016 into the new year. Stripping themselves of too many technological advances, the trio took themselves back to a simple, yet always an effective way of rock n’ roll. Recording the record live and straight to tape captures the rawness and nostalgia of the reemergence of the indie rock — post 9/11 — group in New York City. With respect to the purity of their process, the magic created is nothing out of their ordinary. Although the band believes it to be their best, it takes after their two elder, greater siblings, (“Turn On The Bright Lights”and “Antics”), without the rhythmic chemistry and synthesized influence of former member, Carlos Dengler.

Interpol “Marauder.” (Matador Records)

“We’re still the same people making this music,” said Kessler at the same press release in Mexico City. “ So, of course, there is going to be resemblances and you’re going to recognize our approaches and so forth.”

Interpol has successfully protected and nurtured their creative juice by fermenting a bittersweet record. Flavors range from complicated relationships to hedonistic behaviors and, of course,   Instagram-perving. Banks and Kessler collectively created their album with piercing, yet dreamy guitar tones and a narrative falsetto, defending the freedom of thought. However, they can only be held together with a stable pulse of the marauder’s heart by way of Forgarino’s backbone on the drum kit.  

As aforementioned, Marauder, is a frivolous three-act production. What Interpol gives its followers is an organic climax in each part. As you reach pivotal moments in this unassuming character, you witness him sidling from start to finish. At the end of the first act, “Stay In Touch,” Banks, shrieks “That’s how you make a ghost. Watch how you break things you learn the most.” Reaching its dénouement precluding the second interlude, “Party’s Over” exposes our spellbound lust with social media. Banks unapologetically introduces the pre-chorus, “These enhance my bad intentions without containing my sense of wonder.”  As the record comes its final act, “It Probably Matters,” places the lead in an afterthought of shame and remorse.

“He’s the gimme-gimme guy,” said Banks in an interview with Stereogum.

To channel your inner-marauder, spin this record during those moments when you want to escape and free yourself from the way of the world. Learn from this roving, marauder and the theme of accountability.