August 6, 2012

Song Review: Paul Banks' "The Base"

Paul Banks' voice is both a blessing and an obstacle. When you think of its stylistic influence on his band Interpol, Banks' drudging vocals nearly define it. Yet, when you think consider his solo work including 2009's debut Julian Plenti Is... Skyscraping, it's pretty easy to draw parallels between the two projects for that same reason. No longer operating under the silly Eurotrash-y alias, Paul Banks is readying the release of his latest self-offering simply known as Banks, due out October 23rd on Matador Records. "The Base" is the album's first listen, and aside from that familiar monotone we've grown comfortable with over the past decade, you have to give credit to the Interpol frontman for throwing several different shades of color neither black or grey behind it on this go. Where as we're used to hearing Banks backed up by deep bass lines and razor-sharp guitar crescendos, "The Base" swaps out the usual rockier dirge in exchange for meticulous symphonics that serve to tunnel his emotions toward a dramatically more lucent direction. As hard as it may be to separate Banks' voice from the Interpol legacy, "The Base" hints at a different version of Paul Banks than we've come to know -- One who is fully dedicating to stepping away from the band's shadow by letting a little bit of the sound shine around him instead of the other way around.

Paul Banks - "The Base"

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