Fused from genetic material from the UK and NYC, the secret agents known as Interpol recently liberated their debut full-length from (evil) label hands. Turn on the Bright Lights probably was not intentioned as a command, but it may have well as been, as the media spotlight should be shown on this album repeatedly. The band quite possibly have heroes from the past, but the eerily haunting, echoed guitar parts, guttural basslines and Paul Banks' tortured vocal wail all add up to something very 2002. The oft-mentioned Joy Division references may hold a bit of water, but this is far from a tribute album. "PDA" is the most familiar track, all driving beats and urgent guitars, the late '70s being brought to life in ways that The Strokes could only dream of. "Roland" hits harder and much more often than any of the other New York City hangers-on material has, and "NYC" is of course, a nod to their adopted home, but it doesn't seem contrived; it seems only natural that an art-rock band would dedicate a song to their home and, most likely, muse. Plus the band has a song called "Leif Erikson." Is there anything else to ask for?
JEREMY P. GOLDSTEIN