Interpol’s latest EP, A Fine Mess, serves as a robust and worthy successor to last summer’s album, Marauder. What is perhaps the most notable aspect of A Fine Mess is that it is consistent in its strength; it exists without choppy transitions, nor does it attempt to infuse each track with any musical element it does not need. Interpol has long excelled in providing the ear with substance and richness without dabbling in excess, and A Fine Mess is yet another strong example of this artistic skill – and a skill it is indeed.
The ability to only give a track exactly what it needs to thrive – no more, no less – is essentially formulaic. It requires acute attention to balance being meticulously applied to each and every step of the composition process. It is worthy of noting that such a practice is not synonymous to playing it safe, either. Rather, it is a hallmark of seasoned artists that know how to formulate a streamlined, polished, and enjoyable listening experience – all of which are elements that A Fine Mess embodies.
“The Weekend” is a track that serves as a strong example of what makes A Fine Mess a delight to the ear. It embodies a quiet sense of beauty that is largely hallmarked by the air of poeticism that permeates the lyrics, as well as a melodic, gossamer-like guitar riff that scorches just as much as it provides softness. Yet, “The Weekend” is still very much a rock song at the same time. The fact that a sense of delicacy and a sense of grit can comfortably find a home within the same track is not only seldom seen but leads to a nuanced and textured listening experience.
Above all else, though, A Fine Mess is comprised of five tracks that are simply fun to listen to. These are tracks that are just as energetic as they are skilful, and each one offers something refreshing and distinctive to the overall listening experience.