Interpol, "Interpol"

51 Billboard Rating

Interpol's self-titled fourth album suffers from everything the band did right on its first three albums. With the members' slick guitar interplay, taut production and Paul Banks' weirdly engrossing lyrics, the New York indie rock titans created a vehicle for success that seems to have run out of steam on "Interpol," the group's return to Matador Records. After the effortless grit of opener "Success" jolts listeners awake, the band noodles around with half-formed hooks on tracks like "Memory Serves" and "Always Malaise (The Man I Am)." Lead single "Barricade" showcases Banks' best vocal tics and an inspired bassline courtesy of now-departed member Carlos D, but the song can't help but pale in comparison to the pinpoint guitar rock of past achievements "Obstacle 1" and "Slow Hands." "Interpol" is undoubtedly a solid effort, but solid shouldn't be satisfying for a band that has proved to possess the talent of indie rock's elite class.