Home Read Classic Album Review: Interpol | Turn on the Bright Lights

Classic Album Review: Interpol | Turn on the Bright Lights

The New York rockers stand on the shoulders of giants with their exciting debut.


This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


If you’ve heard about Interpol, I bet you’ve heard one thing about Interpol: They sound like Joy Division. At least, that’s what pretty much every review says.

But it’s not all there is to say about this exciting new New York indie-rock outfit, who just issued their entrancing debut album Turn On The Bright Lights. Yes, at times, singer Paul Banks’ tormented yawp and the band’s tense, mechanically hypnotic tunes have a lot in common with Ian Curtis and co. But one could just as easily — and perhaps should — mention that at other times, those same vocals remind you just as much of Gary Numan and/or The Cure’s Robert Smith. Plus, you should note that their choppy, wiry guitars also bring to mind Mission of Burma and Television. And that their whole dark, gleaming chrome ambience won’t be unfamiliar to anyone who owns records by The Chameleons or Echo And The Bunnymen. Which is really just a long way of saying that yeah, like a whole lot of bands, Interpol sound like a whole lot of bands. But what they really sound like are themselves.