If Patrick Bateman, the main character in Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho, were a real person living in the 2000s then chances are Interpol would be his favorite band, as opposed to the Talking Heads like in the book. Even on the surface this conceivable given the band's penchant for sharp haircuts and designer suits. While Bateman worked as an investment banker, Interpol seem to have ties to the PR sector with lines like, "Friends don't waste wine, when there's words to sell." But there's another level, where this comparison works as well.
In American Psycho, Bateman isn't always cool, calm, and collected. There are times where he is shook and losing his grip. As a reader, this is easy to identify because he, as the narrator, begins to report falsehoods. Or he will state things that directly contradict other things that he said earlier. The point being, Bateman had his hang-ups. He was ultimately, lonely and confused. He was never sure if he wanted sex or not, but he ran wild with it just to make sure. He was a fucked up individual, and as a result he rode off the rails. Interpol ride off the rails as well. They give off the appearance of what is supposed to be cool, but beneath things may not be as smooth as the black Italian suits suggest. Like on "NYC", where the speaker confesses to miming his way through the daily routine but who is "sick of spending these lonely nights/Training myself not to care." Or on "Roland", where the speaker talks about his friend, the butcher, and how he has a beard which this writer can only imagine is some sort of grave offense in the NYC fashion circles.
And then there's "Obstacle 1" which has the most Joy Division-y line on the whole album. "And you go stabbing yourself in the neck." Yeah, it's true. Lead singer, Paul Banks, does at times sound like someone who went to the Ian Curtis School for Vocalizing, at least in terms of delivery and only at times. "Obstacle 1" has a companion at least in name with the track, "Obstacle 2" where the speaker asks doesn't ask for self-inflicted injury, but rather for someone to help because "If you can fix me up, we'll go a long way." And to be fair, hope is never completely lost on this record. On "Untitled", we are told that we will be surprised sometimes. And there's "Sheila Was a Diver and She Was Always Down", which tells the tale of a lady who for lack of a better term, was always down to go down.
Suppose, only one question remains. "Is this album as good as advertised?" The answer is probably. This is a consistent record that plays strongly from start to finish. Interpol have a certain sound, and they work well with it. In the past, Interpol was recommended to me. They said, I would probably like it. They were right, but truth be told the reason is still somewhat unclear.