New Soundbites: MGMT, Kings of Leon and Interpol


Three big hitters made notable returns in 2010 but for very different reasons. Getintothis ponders the former US darlings of the indie circuit.

Kings Of Leon: Come Around Sundown
When Radioactive dropped with that CAFOD-meets-Comic-Relief style vid I genuinely thought we had The Martin Luther Kings of Leon on our hands. Here’s me thinking we’re going to get the biggest case of Jesus syndrome since Jacko healed the world and they’d parade through London in loin cloths dragging hulks of cross-shaped wood and then maybe let Lenry Henry drive nails through their hands rendering them forever unable to poison our ears with the guff they’ve been peddling since album number two. Whatever it was called.
Alas, Come Around Sundown is so dripping in FM MoR gash-stained polish, so laden with faux southern fried honky boffing round the barnyard hay bale that the Mumford brigade lap it up with beans, so U2-aping in plastic stadium compression, so unutterably safe that I’m frankly indifferent to it’s blandness.

MGMT: Congratulations
Sony BMG
Hard to think this was released back in April – seems more like April 1974.
Folk jibber-jabbered on about Ben and Andy going all progressive and wilfully obscure – try regressive and wilfully obscene.
Not only have they abandoned the pop sparkle of their debut but they’ve applied a thick layer of drab producing something which isn’t experimental or ‘difficult’ – just plain and one dimensional.
The only hint of interest arrives during the 12 minute Siberian Breaks suite – more of a three-track into one trick melding pastoral English folk and a poor imitation of early Flaming Lips yet for the most part Congratulations plays like a Syd Barrett demo which he’d have left floating around his abandoned paint pots. Congrats guys, you’ve dropped a whopper!

Interpol: Interpol
Fair to say Interpol dropped the ball on their last outing – so much so we had them squaring up to Editors in a battle for best Joy Division rip off.
Thankfully, this is somewhat of a rescue mission, for despite losing oddity Carlos D in post-production, their self-titled fourth outing is a blustering, bombastic workout tightly kniting together most of the characteristics we fell in love with first time around on that seminal debut.
Sure, there’s little new ground but in mechanical jagged riffing (Lights), the chasmic bleakness (Barricade), solemn beauty (The Undoing) nd expert prodduction by Alan Moulder there’s enough of the original greatness to hold faith for their next coming.