A Well-Deserved Look Into ‘Marauder’
With 2018 behind us, a year of spectacular music releases from artists old and new, indie rock band- Interpol- is no exception with their album, Marauder, released back in August of 2018. Sadly, the album did not receive the recognition it deserved, as it was swept under the rug by the rush of big hip-hop and pop releases, such as Astroworld and Sweetener by Ariana Grande that was released in the same month. Nonetheless, Marauder was a highly-anticipated album that was four years in the making; therefore it deserves a proper dissection.
Although birthed in an era of music where pop and rap reign over the general populous, Interpol pays no mind by creating an indie rock sound that can only be described as an Interpol production. The band was formed in 1997, a pivotal moment for rock during the post-punk revival of the 2000s, alongside bands such as The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, and Bloc Party. With over a decade of being together, they have released five full-length albums leading up to this current release—the first being 2002’s critically acclaimed Turn On the Bright Lights. Interpol would blaze a trail through the first decade of the new millennium, their sound largely considered one of the sounds of that decade Bassist and founding member Carlos Dengler, would exit the band in 2010 after their fourth album. Dengler’s bass lines in their works were iconic for its tasteful, but grounded lines. This loss was never fully recouped, however, kept alive by lead singer, Paul Banks. Regardless of the roadblocks, the band kept producing and taking the time to develop their creations. Marauder is their first album where they had an outside producer, Dave Fridmann, help with their sound.
Marauder keeps the classic Interpol tone of being dark mixed with grunge by having very dissonant motivic intervals and chordal progressions. Lead singer, Paul Banks, also adds to this tone with his signature way of singing subtly out of pitch. Most of the songs on the album begin with old school rock-like guitar riffs, which create this feeling of reminiscence. The lyrics are in classic Interpol fashion that are never direct and almost poetry. They throw in phrases and unique diction, which at first feel like gibberish, but actually resonate with the sounds of the instruments.
As for overall album structure, the energy definitely goes from fast-paced and rough, to slow and smooth. This gives the album an arc, which eases the audience to the change of emotions throughout. There are also two interludes that break up this album that could be described as sounds of muffled grandiose music heard from a distance. These moments take you away for a minute to breathe and reset your listening palette. The concepts portrayed in the album are partially about rebellion against social norms, but there are also emotionally filled songs about love and relationships. All the messages are spoken in the first person, but inclusive with the audience listening. At its core, the songs on Marauder are simplistic and show big signs of the band’s earlier work, but sound full from the effects implemented—most notably reverb. This is nice as it gives off a garage rock band vibe while having top-notch production. Fridmann does a good job preserving and portraying Interpol’s ideas and sounds.
As for my personal favorites off the album: I enjoyed the first track, “If You Really Love Nothing,” as well as “Surveillance,” and “Party’s Over.”
By no means do I believe this is the best album of 2018, or even from Interpol, but I do believe it is one of the better albums from 2018—as well as a great addition to their discography. In a time where rock has lost its position to the public’s ear, this album shows that it’s still alive and kicking. If you enjoy rock from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, then this is a pleasant surprise.