Exactly four years and one day after Interpol’s eponymous fourth album, El Pintor was released. The title is Spanish for ‘The Painter’. This album marks Interpol’s return after a short slew of performances, stopping in Australia only to play Splendour in the Grass and an intimate gig the night before. Clocking in at exactly 40 minutes and ten tracks long, El Pintor is an incredible release from an incredibly influential indie rock band of the 00s.
Opening track All the Rage Back Home was the leading single before being succeeded by Ancient Ways, and it’s an excellent start to the album. It begins stripped back; vocals slick with reverb mix with slide guitarwork until the rhythm section joins to infect your brain with the bittersweet sound Interpol is so well known for. Paul Banks certainly knows how to create emotive melodies that emulate heart-wrenching loss.
Anywhere feels like a throwback to their third release, Our Love to Admire, without the unique bass compositions from Carlos Dengler, who left Interpol before El Pintor to pursue other projects. Anywhere is an intricate weaving of Paul Bank’s efforts on bass underpinned by drums that neither overpower nor leave the listener desiring more.
The final track on El Pintor is ominous and is my favourite from the album. Twice as Hard feels twice as heart wrenching and sounds like a storm of guitars and bright cymbals. The somewhat cryptic lyrics leave a lot to be assumed by the listener. As Twice As Hard fades, it makes me excited for Interpol’s to return to Australia.