Last year, Interpol released their sixth album, Marauder. Dave Fridmann produced the record, adding a garage rock vibe to the band’s well-established arena-size post-punk sound. The result was a strong but uneven album, with the middle portion of the album being all but forgettable. Less than a year later, the band has released A Fine Mess, an EP featuring five songs from the Marauder sessions that didn’t make it onto the album.
The EP begins with “Fine Mess,” which just so happens to be the best song on it. The track’s bouncy chorus is simple but effective, putting frontman Paul Banks’ voice at centerstage. Live favorite “Real Life” finally gets a worthwhile studio recording, oozing with the same energy found in Interpol’s best songs. The track also has the pleasure of joining “Fine Mess” as being the only worthwhile songs on the EP. “No Big Deal,” “The Weekend” and “Thrones” all miss the mark, sounding like watered down versions of Interpol and showing why they never made it on Marauder’s final iteration.
With A Fine Mess, Interpol have delivered three forgettable B-sides, alongside one that should’ve ended up on Marauder, and a longtime live favorite. There’s nothing on the EP that Interpol hasn’t done before and better; but longtime fans will get something out of it.