So who the Hell is Julian Plenti and why has his debut album Skyscraper been meet with so much interest and excitement by the indie press.Well this is because Plenti is non other than Paul Banks the lead singer of our favourite doom mongers Interpol. Banks has dusted of his Plenti moniker to recorded Skyscraper and perform a string of live dates. So is the album any good?
Well , that very much depends on the listener and if they are a fan of Interpol or not. Opening track “Only if we run” feels very much like business as usual, with is pulsing rhythm section, jangling guitars and Banks baritone vocal. This vein runs through the album with tracks such as”Fly as you might”, “Game for days” and “the Fun that we had”, sounding near to identical to an Interpol recorded. Not that this is a bad thing: as for me the Interpol tinged tracks are the amongst the best on the album. Most of the other songs simply lack the depth and construction to the point where they feel quite like throw aways, like the Mogwai sounding “H” and the Kitsch 80’s sounding “Unwind” The latter ends up sounding like Europe’s final countdown. However the real gem and stand out track on skyscraper is “Girl on the sporting news” , which poses a sultry and seductive charm missing from Bank’s day job. With this it feels like Banks is giving something different, something worth releasing a solo recorded for.
Overall the album has its high points, is a good listen and is a must for Interpol fans, But I just don’t get the feeling that Banks is pushing himself, as he isn’t putting anything out that isn’t already being done within Interpol and surely isn’t that the point of a solo project. Perhaps Banks has too much creative control in Interpol?
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