Unlike seemingly every other buzz-band on the market today, Interpol wouldn't be caught dead making garage rock for high-schoolers in rumpled mod hand-me-downs. Interpol may share the fashion sense of the Hives, the Vines and other neogarage acts, but the influences that go into their music aren't the Who and Nuggets but Joy Division and the Psychedelic Furs (with small doses of the Smiths and Wire ... for levity). Lead singer Paul Banks does a nice update of Ian Curtis' majestic monotone, and his band follows suit with jittery, gloomy guitar attacks and those Hook-y elastic bass lines.
And Interpol's debut, Turn on the Bright Lights, couldn't have come along at a better time. With the film 24 Hour Party People making Manchester a household (or at least an arthouse-hold) name again, post-punk nostalgia is just about due. Though the members of the band are all American, they've got those dissonantly catchy Mancunian sonics down -- but with less Ian Curtis-style pathos and a little more life. There's a peculiar charge in hearing Banks bellow a come-on such as "I'm going to play with the braids that you came here with tonight" in his doomed moan. It's like a snapshot of a man overcoming his own demons.