Interpol - El Pintor

“Oooh, fuck the ancient ways!” is a hell of an opening lyric, and Interpol’s latest El Pintor single doesn’t let up from there. “Ancient Ways” is a dense and intense take on the band’s signature sound. Paul Banks sings about tradition bearing down on him, and the part of tradition is played by what feels like an infinite barrage of guitars and rhythm that refuses to relent. If you’ve been looking for a reminder of why you used to love Interpol so much, here ya go.

El Pintor is out 9/9 on Matador. Pre-order it at iTunes or Amazon.

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Comments (15)
  1. Officially actually looking forward to this album

  2. Feeling a little lukewarm about this. Maybe it will grow on me. Good to see they’re at least experimenting with different guitar textures and not reverting back to the slower, thicker arrangements on their self-titled.

  3. I’m cautiously optimistic. I hope there’s room for some real moody/melancholy numbers on this album (eg. Take you on a cruise, or Leif Erikson)

  4. I am looking forward to a new one. But I think most of us area missing the mark regarding Interpol. Some bands are just “right place, right time”. And it doesn’t matter how good their newer stuff is. Bloc Party is a perfect example (yes, they are why I am “blochead”) Silent Alarm blew my pea brain away. But everything since is just …meh. Is it because they aren’t as good? Or is it just I’m in a weird time warp where only Silent Alarm hits home?

    Here’s my attempt at a “Mini Jack” of this thread…….rank these 4 albums vs 1-4
    Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
    Arctic Monkeys – Whatever They Say……
    Killers – Hot Fuss
    Interpol – Turn On The Bright Lights

    I can’t split them up because I friggin’ LOVE those albums. But at the end of the day I think Arctic Monkeys has held up the best over time.

    • I think TOTBL has held up the best over time, followed by Silent Alarm. The other two sound dated and tethered to the times they were released. While you can definitely detect that with TOTBL, it is still an amazing album and, if it were released today, would easily get the acclaim that it got in 2002.

    • You may be right about the “right place, right time” idea. But as for Bloc Party, while none of their albums since have seemed as brilliant as their debut, they’ve all grown on me over time. Taking their catalog as a whole, they’re still turning out to be one of my favorite bands as well, and I really enjoy how much range they’ve displayed over the years.

      Interpol – TOTBL (still one of my favourites of all time)
      Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
      Killers – Hot Fuss
      Arctic Monkeys – Whatever… (Truth is, I enjoyed this album for a few weeks, and that’s about it, have never really given them another chance.)

      • Interpol – TOTBL
        Arctic Monkeys – Whatever…
        Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
        The Killers – Hot Fuss

        Though the margin that separates 1-4 is razor thin for me.

        It’s funny how Arctic Monkeys have managed to grow into a new, bigger sound over time, gaining commercial appeal without losing critical acclaim, while the others have tried the same but have succeeded in only one (or none) of those areas. I think it comes down to good songwriting and song craft, which Arctic Monkeys have always had while the others have shown major inconsistencies.

        • Completely agree. That Alex Turner is one clever SOB. I listen to his lyrics and always end up chuckling at how deftly he works his sentence structure around a rhyme. I know this is going to sound completely idiotic but the way he manages to find couplets reminds me so much of Eminem. It seems like the lyric is WAY out in leftfield and then BLAM! they tie it up quickly and sharply. I love that Last Shadow Puppets side project he did. Kind of a weird spaghetti western vibe. Very, very clever indeed.

      • Two things..
        Thing #1 – Completely agree about Bloc Party. Great band. Silent Alarm just dwarfs everything else.
        Thing #2 – You need to revisit Arctic Monkeys. Seriously.

    • My take:

      Neither TotBL nor Silent Alarm have worsened with age, their bands have.

      WPSay I am.. has, but the Arctic Monkeys have gotten better.

  5. the songs on this album have been decent enough so far but I think Spoon set the bar pretty high this year. I don’t think Interpol will really be able to hang when it comes time for AOTY. However will I still listen to this album relentlessly until I can form a definite conclusion? course

  6. This song should be the opening track of El Pintor. A f***ing masterpiece. F*** the ancient ways.

  7. Just realized El Pintor is an anagram of Interpol.

  8. Does that drumline remind anyone else of ‘Pain Lies on the Riverside’? Not that that’s a bad thing!! Related maybe: this is my favorite El Pintor track to date and I’m pumped for the album.

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