Interpol: ‘What is What’ Bonus Track Review

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

“I can show you what is what.” These are the sensual lyrics to the bonus track that Interpol released as a free download on their fresh and improvised website. Fans simply must go to the site where they will see a new backdrop, which is visually inviting, and a command box directly in the center. Type in everything is wrong and you will be directed to the download link. Talk about a great day for Interpol fans. Not only do you receive the track “Everything is Wrong,” from the El Pintor album (2014), but also a never before heard track.

This redefinition of themselves isn’t surprising, as the new invented trio may have left clues within the El Pintor album. The title translated from Spanish is “The Painter,” but when looked in its original language, notice ‘El Pintor’ is another way to spell out “Interpol.” A new self-titled album within clever word scramble. One of the ways the band seemed to move on after losing bass player Carlos Dengler, and conceptualize who they now are.

What is What,” combines the earlier elements heard on Antics (2004) but in a refreshing new sound, just like the entirety of El Pintor. The heavy guitar distortion immediately grabs the listener followed by Paul Banks’ sultry vocals and Sam Forgarino’s depth and beautiful resonance of control on the drums. The whole completed track is as beautifully crafted together as are the lyrics. Embedded in the chorus is Banks’ sincerity “…to reflect on me / with no complication.”  The reflection of Interpol and the pure genius to their simple changes is one of the elements that makes listening to this song rewarding.

“Why don’t you see it? / why don’t you feel me?” Lyrically, the song starts very direct with its message and tone. It takes a lot of emotion and strength to start a confrontation, and Banks’ display of assertiveness is as equal as laying down the cards to one’s lover.

As the chorus leads into the break of the song, there’s a noticeable change of emotion with a controlled guitar riff that carries Banks’ soft voice. The momentum of the guitar, along with the whole song, is uplifted once more into the chorus with a slight change.

“Now that I know you / I can show you what is what.” By this point of the song, the chorus’ choice of placement have reversed. Safe to assume by this point there is full disclosure and trust that is echoed throughout the end of the song.

Interpol fans will not be disappointed. In this new defining moment of Interpol’s success and musical journey, I feel like they can finally show us “what is what.” Enjoy the new track.