Sun Oct 24
Crystal Ballroom
1332 W Burnside

"Derivative" is an overly demonizing weapon turned on most non-experimental rock bands. It's a common ailment, this derivativeness, its most frequent affront being that it produces incredibly boring records. But for a good time, sometimes that derivative rock does just fine. It's the equivalent of having your choice of two blondes, natural and bottle. In five years one will still be platinum, and in five weeks the other will look beat. But tonight, one's as good as the other.

Interpol stands accused not only of being derivative, but actually exhuming Ian Curtis and extracting his DNA in an attempt to reproduce Joy Division. Their debut, Turn on the Bright Lights, was unbearably dull after the third listen. The sullen, retro poppy post-punk nü goth upchuck was fine, but seemed insincere, underscored by the lot of nothing exiting singer Paul Banks' monotonous head. Nonetheless, the familiar, likeable gist ignited the masses. Like other eye rollers, I didn't get into bed with Interpol. I checked out Interpol's ass, that's it.

Their latest, Antics, while no jarring transition, moves in small but important ways away from the mimicry that earned their public flogging from the derivative police. They've upped the pop and diluted the sad bastard, giving Banks more breathing room--a mixed blessing, considering his one-pitch bleats, and lyrics that never rise above a third grade reading level.

The newfound sunshine carries them away from their heroes. That makes them a better band, and Antics a better album.