With their expansive sound, dark wit, and a flair for the dramatic, Interpol went from being one of New York City's most talked about bands to becoming one of America's most exciting and acclaimed. Fulfilling the promise shown on their three previous EPs, Interpol's 2002 full length debut, Turn On The Bright Lights, established the quartet as a major force despite their brief tenure. It is a filler-free, fully realized statement of intent; few debut albums have sounded this confident or displayed as much emotional range.
Singer/guitarist Paul Banks' angelic exterior belies his twisted lyrics and macabre vocals. Bassist Carlos D. carries much of the mood; while his forceful approach reflects early influences John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) and Cliff Burton (Metallica), other faves like John Taylor (Duran) and Simon Gallup (Cure) are more evident in his rubbery, melodic playing.
Daniel Kessler's guitar cuts it straight down the middle with an incredibly atmospheric sound, owing as much to current electronic music as the pop bands of his youth. And though Interpoltechnically formed in 1998, it wasn't until Sam Fogarino replaced their original drummer in 2000 that they developed the focus and authority that characterizes their current sound.
Turn on the Bright Lights was created at Connecticut's Tarquin Studios in November of 2001, recorded by Pete Katis and mixed by Gareth Jones (Clinic, Depeche Mode). Tarquin Studios occupies the top floor of a 150 year-old house which once served as a hospital for mentally impaired children, and where the Interpol boys felt strangely at home.
Of the intense recording schedule, Dan remembers, "The Outside, as we called it, took on mystic proportions by the end. We hadn't had any contact with anyone but ourselves for a few weeks, so when someone went out to the store or for a walk, it was like they were venturing out into the wild. It was authentic cabin fever."
From the driving "PDA" to the monumental "Untitled" and the haunting "Say Hello To The Angels," this elegant and rich 11-song collection is a triumph of fin-de-siecle melancholy and youthful force.
2. Obstacle 1
5. Say Hello To The Angels
6. Hands Away
7. Obstacle 2
8. Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down
10. The New
11. Leif Erikson