17 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Not the blatant rip-off one might have feared...,
This review is from: The Black EP (Audio CD)
Oh, Interpol, haven’t they done well, whatdoyathink? Admiration of cosmic proportions in a space of couple of years – from everyone in NME to Pitchfork via thousands of great music lovers worldwide who were tired of being force-fed with the campness of The Strokes from the cover of each and every magazine (every issue)? Check. Brilliant debut album that still thrills more and more every time it finds its way into one’s ears? Check. Making leather coats in music cool again? Check. Providing blusting soundtrack to Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle? Eh, well, no, this one was just made up actually, but hey, Interpol do seem capable of everything these days.
Anyway. And now – this.
God only knows why this was named The Black EP, maybe Interpol are planning a series of this stop-gap releases in style of Trois Couleurs movie-series (hey, The Orange EP sounds particularly promising to me) or they just finally found the perfect outlet for their secret admiration of Jack Black. The content is all that matters here and I’m afraid it’s a little thin on surprises – and more importantly – new material.
6 tracks (OK, so you DO qualify for EP status here, unlike, say, some UK half-decent bands releasing 1 and a half track single and calling it EP too), one (Say Hello To The Angels) in its LP version, demo of NYC and 4 live tracks. Say Hello…, one of the true hightlights of Interpol’s debut, pretty much still rocks like hell giving The Strokes run for their money and remaining in you head for… like forever, even after its first listen. NYC demo is indeed all things demos should be: stripped down and lacking the polished production of its final incarnation, this can only be described as a damn fine garage ballad (it was previously released in UK as a b-side to double feature single of Say Hello To The Angels/NYC). And the live tracks from the so called Black Sessions (o-o-oh, that’s where the bloody name comes from. I see…)? Well, they’re OK too, I suppose, being somewhat less intense takes on already familiar songs (except the rare just-above-average Specialist) that will undoubtedly convince all the remaining unbelievers (are there any left?) in… oh yes… Interpol is indeed the second coming of Joy Division whether you want to accept it or not (check the opening drums and the so-Ian-Curtis-voice-it-hurts on PDA and the atmospheric Leif Erikson). Most of the Black Sessions tracks were already released in UK on the flipsides and as bonus audio material to Obstacle 1 CD and DVD single respectively. And so that you know – the complete Black Sessions bootleg is the most popular and available unofficial recording of the band on the net.
Now, all is well, but surely (bloody obvious more like) the idea of more rare material finding place on this release would have been appropriately more exciting? Interlude from the Japanese edition of Turn On The Bright Lights or the original version of Specialist originally included on Aussie LP? A Time To Be Small, which is almost forgotten at this point? Hell, Arthur Baker remix of Obstacle 1? I understand that The Black EP is aimed squarely at the American market, where none of the tracks were commercially released before, but even considering this – would American Interpol fan really rather be buying live recordings release or the one that includes something more original?
All in all The Black EP is not the blatant rip-off one might have feared (eh, this CD could have cost the price of the full-length album – just like I Might Be Wrong EP by Radiohead. It doesn’t, thank God), but nonetheless it remains a pretty die-hard fans affair. Newcomers should stick with the album, The Strokes should consider The Demos EP (sure there should be left aplenty unheard ones even after Someday single, eh, Julian?), Interpol must realize that it’s about a time they return to studio and record something even more mind-blowing then Turn On The Bright Lights.
The Orange EP, anyone?