24 September 2010

Live: Interpol @ Berkeley Street Studio

{ Recapturing the magic? }

Who: Interpol
Where: Berkeley Street Studio, Santa Monica, CA
When: Monday, 6 September 2010

{ Interpol at Rams Head Live! in Baltimore, MD }

{ Interpol - "Success" }

So, there's a band you like. Let's say this band is called Interpol. Let's say you get a chance to watch them at a small recording studio in Santa Monica. That's when you drop everything and go to that show.

Let's be honest here, there's nothing really spectacular about watching Interpol in person. I saw them at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles a little while back and their stark stage presence matches their minimalist, post-punk sound.

Some might find it a bit boring to watch. But it works. And they sound so good.

Their big, reverb-drenched sound works perfectly in a small venue like Berkeley Street Studio (of course, a lot of bands would sound great in this incredible space). The big sounds coming from their guitars and their impressive rhythm section wraps around you like a warm, sonic blanket.

And it feels good.

Even with the loss of their long-time bass player, Carlos Dengler, Interpol still retains power and punch in their live performance. Their latest self-titled record (recorded with Dengler) also packs a crisp and punchy quality that wasn't present in some of their previous work.

But does Interpol recapture the magic?

Well, yes and no.

From an engineering perspective, Interpol have never sounded better on their latest album but they have yet to match the magic produced in Turn On The Bright Lights.

But this is their best effort in a long time.

Their last record, Our Love To Admire, was inconsistent at times and I found myself skipping over a lot of tracks but the record still produced one of their best songs in a long time in "Who Do You Think."

Frankly, their debut album Turn On The Bright Lights was so damn good it's hard to listen to any of the other albums and feel the same way. But after a brief stint with a major label (Capitol), Interpol are back with Matador and that seemed to spark a strong album.

And there is an energy in their live performance that seems to show their excitement about being back on Matador and promoting a new record.

Of course, I was spoiled by watching them in such a tiny space. There was a raw and relaxed energy about them and this is a good sign of things to come in the future.

Now hopefully they don't pull a Kings Of Leon with their next record. Know what I mean? If not, well, stay tuned to Pet Bear Sounds. I've got some thoughts about those guys.

Watch Interpol's KCRW performance below!

{ Their new self-titled album is out now! }