Though the iconoclastic New York band first formed in the late 90s, the music world first hears of this strange new flower in the summer of 2002 with the release of Interpol’s debut album Turn On The Bright Lights; Untitled is the opening track. It’s an unprepossessing name for such a huge introduction to a band. This is a more directly elemental song than what the band would later come to be associated with; nonetheless, the precisely interlocking, guitar-driven quality of their sound is there from the get-go and the production is immediate and savagely powerful. Interpol's songs are often about love, loss of love and a certain nameless existentialist angst, yet rather than being awkwardly moody and depressing, their best songs reflect a huge amount of intelligent energy, inflicting killer hooks and bass lines impossible to ignore.
Untitled begins with a tentative, open-ended guitar riff establishing the tone. When the drums and bass kick in you know you're in for something real - it's an unmistakeable gut-check signalling that this band means business. The track builds with remorseless inevitability into a monstrously huge and compellingly physical experience. The sparse, forlorn lyrics come off as some kind of hollow, trance-like mantra floating ghost-like over the blistering sonic attack unfolding below. One guitar keeps at the initial repeating phrase that grows ever rawer and more powerful, while the other guitar introduces itself with sliding stabs down the neck before bringing in a series of high, ringing, sustained notes which, taken together with the entire sonic package, simply kill. At one point the drums just start doing this astounding thing - it's like controlled explosions.
Structurally it's remarkably simple, even daring - the song never departs from its opening premise, only steadily intensifies that theme until it climaxes then trails off, ending on a single dangling, shimmering note which reverberates deliciously in the crisp air. Check the inventive youtube fan video below.