Album Review: Interpol – A Fine Mess EP

Noughties New York indie juggernauts Interpol are following up on last year’s release ‘Marauder’ with the brand-new EP titled ‘Fine Mess’. Described as the ‘a living, breathing postcard from the band to their fans as they tour the world’ giving audiences some fresh new music to look forward to as well as finally enjoying live fan favourites in a recorded form.

Recorded in upstate New York, the EP serves as a continuation of the more energetic content contained in ‘Marauder’. Drifting somewhat away from their dark post-punk roots “Fine Mess” favours of a more straightforward indie rock dynamic set to get people moving.

Owed to the band’s incredibly strong first two albums, they were always going to find it hard to develop along with fan expectation. Over the years they’ve released some really varied work that has been either really great or at times a bit mundane.

‘Fine Mess’ opens strongly with its self-titled track bursting with energy as Paul Bank’s signature distorted vocals bleed through a classic Interpol guitar riff that would evoke any Interpol fans sense of nostalgia. The track has a polished feel to it bringing the Interpol sound to a more stripped back and straightforward approach to song writing.

However, after a strong start the EP seems to lose momentum with the track ‘No Big Deal’. On paper the track is great, it feels like the vibe from ‘Our Love to Admire’ with the production heard on ‘Marauder’ but ultimately sounds somewhat hollow. While the opening verse has nice groove and character the track seems to lack any dynamic change leading to the whole thing coming across monotonous. This is something that a lot of the EP suffers from especially on tracks ‘The Weekend’ and ‘Thrones’ that seem to play around with some fairly underwhelming song structures with weak transitions that feel like they could have been so much harder hitting.

Luckily, there are moments of redemption with ‘Real Life’ being the best track on the EP. The song writing here is cut above the rest of the EP, potentially due to its longer runtime ‘Real Life’ has more breathing space allowing it to break away from the formulaic tendencies the other tracks suffer from. Overall the EP comes of sounding like a collection of throwaway tracks from last year’s release. ‘Fine Mess’ is definitely an enjoyable listen but it would be nice to hear the band produce something a little bit more unexpected in future.