One of the gloomiest retro-wave acts in recent memory decides to name its sophomore CD Antics? After painting itself into a corner with buckets full of black fingernail polish, Interpol is trying to squirm out of its monochromatic straitjacket -- figuratively speaking, of course. Antics's cover is just as stark, dark and drab as that of 2002's ironically dubbed Turn On the Bright Lights. Inside, however, everything starts to get all sparkly. The disc's opener, "Next Exit," is on organ-drenched pop dirge that sounds like Suicide out on a day pass to the circus. The other nine tracks follow suit, each offering a slightly less serotonin-challenged take on Bright Lights' dour, tension-clenched formula. Sure, the mystique that the group used to shroud itself in was thin, tacky and stank of cloves, but that was half the fun. With Antics, the men of Interpol have stripped off their trench coats and begun frolicking bare-assed through the post-punk underbrush. And you know what? They don't look so good naked.


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