PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 September, 2010, 12:00am


When bands self-title an album, it's a statement of intent, an introduction or a redefinition. Interpol's eponymous fourth studio album is, sadly, none of the above.

It's been a testing time for the once untouchable New Yorkers: bassist and indie cult hero Carlos Dengler's departure; proposed comeback dates supporting U2 pulled at the last minute; and the indifference towards 2007's Our Love to Admire (their first and last major label album) that sat uncomfortably amid the affection for their first two LPs.

Dark and moody, Interpol does have its moments - Lights simmers with menace, Always Malaise (The Man I Am) builds to an infectious end and Barricade summons the tension and urgency that showcase Paul Banks' vocals at their best.

The band's reputation was built on razor-sharp, angular precision but Interpol is too often a dull and pedestrian experience. The slow burn of the 10 tracks never fully catches fire and the subtleties in the lyrics fail to fully deliver.

With fresh recruits David Pajo (Slint, Tortoise) on bass and keyboardist Brandon Curtis of the Secret Machines, Interpol have the set-up to grace the largest of stages. They have not crafted the songs on this album to take them there.