Rewind: Interpol- Turn on the Bright Lights

It’s safe to say, by now, that the first four or five years of the millennium were the New York music scene (on a national scale, of course) revival years. Better yet, a majority of the post-punk/new wave, and garage rock influenced indie-rock that came out during those years, essentially, was from New York.

Back then, as far as sublime debuts went, the NYC “revival years” were full of them. In 2001, you had the Television-influenced The Strokes with, Is This It. 2003 brought the arty-garage punk of Fever To Tell from the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. And, in between them, there was the brooding post-punk of Interpol on Turn on the Bright Lights. That in between album is this edition of Rewind.

Turn on the Bright Lights, released in 2002, painted a melancholic and insular view of life in New York. Whether life was or wasn’t like that in New York in 2002 is beside the point. The point is: Interpol, with their impeccable style, crafted an album full of songs with jagged guitars, bleak drums, hypnotic bass-lines, and gloomy lyrics.

Songs that, in turn, had detractors focusing on one thing; their influences. Sure, the similarities between Joy Division and Interpol are there and apparent—vocal likeness, sound, and overall aesthetic. One can even go as far as saying, influences from other post-punk bands, such as; Chameleons UK, Comsat Angels, and Television.

Yet, to overanalyze Turn on the Bright Lights and its influences, is a detriment to the record and to Interpol themselves. It’s a record that should be taken for face-value. Essentially, for what it is; a classic debut album that, so far, has stood the test of time.