If opener and lead single All the Rage Back Home doesn’t hook from the off, fear not. Like much of this fifth album from the newly trim trio, bassist Carlos Dengler having now departed, it’s a grower. And for the devoted who prefer their Interpol in classic mould, it’s not all, um, doom and gloom – after the diversions of 2010’s Interpol, El Pintor finds more room for guitarist Daniel Kessler’s trademark nervy, switchback riffs.
With the headline writers still focusing on who’s out rather than in (singer Paul Banks fills in for Dengler on bass), El Pintor could easily have given the naysayers their wish. But Interpol return from extended hiatus revived, Banks’ falsetto on My Blue Supreme and Tidal Wave giving El Pintor a welcome soulfulness; its bustling vitality tracing a line back to 2002’s Turn on the Bright Lights. Expansive and texturally advanced, and arguably their strongest outing since that lauded debut, this is a welcome second coming. [Gary Kaill]