Interpol: El Pintor (Matador) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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El Pintor


Sep 05, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Death to Interpol. Death to all neo-baritone-core. Death to The National. Death to Editors. If you really wanted to take a leaf out of Joy Division’s book, you all should’ve called it a day after two albums. It’s 2014, for God’s sake.

Seriously though, El Pintor is okay if that kind of thing still does it for you. “El Pintor” is an anagram of Interpol, so hopefully their next three albums will continue this theme and be called Pile Torn, Lite Porn, and Rope Lint. El Pintor is an Interpol album that does exactly what it says on the tin, with no alarms and no surprises. It will please hardcore Interpol devotees. In fact, the album rolls along so slickly, professionally, and convincingly that some listeners might even get a little too excited and describe it as “a return to form” (perhaps compelled by that striking red/black artwork colour scheme that explicitly evokes the sleeve of Turn On the Bright Lights). True, like an ailing canine after a reinvigorating trip to the veterinary surgeon, El Pintor has a bit more bite to it than some of Interpol’s recent efforts. With its fast-ish tempo and “hey-hey-hey” backing vocals, opener “All the Rage Back Home” is about as raucous as Interpol ever get. “My Desire” and “My Blue Supreme” strive to recapture the claustrophobic atmosphere of the group’s terrific debut and only fail by a slight margin. Incongruous to Paul Banks’ gloomy vocal tones, some of the crisply-produced guitar patterns are almost jauntily twiddling, more Franz Ferdinand slim-hip wiggles than cracking-up OK Computer neurosis. A highlight is “Everything is Wrong” with its bass-y intro and despairing lyrics. “Ancient Ways” is deep, rich, complex, murky, and kinda angryBanks opens the song by droning the line “oooooh, fuck the ancient ways.” At other times, however, Banks tumbles into self-parody, such as when he croons the words “tidal wave” over and over again on the penultimate track (entitled “Tidal Wave,” of course). Still, El Pintor is solid enough to convince us not to put the old dog to sleep just yet. (

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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September 7th 2014

this “review” is so disgustingly cynical i’d hardly call it a “review” at all. its a b/s puff piece.

September 7th 2014

Agreed. Terrible review.

September 10th 2014

This review is phenomenal.