Interpol dishes out non-traditional, poetic romance

Interpol is one of the best bands out there right now. While its contemporaries in the New York garage-art-rock boom of the turn of the century are already starting to sound stale and dated, Interpol distinguishes itself by a commitment to its own weird vision.

As a band, Interpol possesses an easy grace, making it seem like what the individual members are doing is easy, but the combination produces something exponentially greater than the sum of the parts. The twin guitars of Daniel Kessler and front man Paul Banks never muddy the waters with oafish displays of virtuosity. Their simple but interlocking guitar parts intertwine with Interpol’s scarily good rhythm section to form a unified but always engaging sound.

“Antics” is Interpol’s second album and one could argue that doesn’t make much attempt to change the formula that was so successful on their 2002 debut, “Turn On the Bright Lights.” Indeed, “Antics” does feel like a sequel to their debut and that’s definitely not a bad thing.

Paul Banks’ lyrics never stray far from the kind of nerdily grandiose romance that typified “Turn On the Bright Lights,” and in fact takes his strangeness to new levels on “Antics.” From awkward marriage proposals like “Would you like to be my missus/ In a future with child” on “Take You On a Cruise” to the outright sexual advances of the album-opener “Next Exit,” “Antics” provides a platform for some un-idealized forms of romance and vibrates with a poetic resonance that you just don’t get from traditional love songs.