Interpol's fifth album, El Pintor, drops September 9, and it's being touted as a comeback album for the New York band. This doesn't entirely make sense, though. They had an unfuckwittable debut album, a very solid second LP that quashed any talk of a sophomore slump, a third full-length that's better than you remember, and a fourth that you don't remember.  So, what are they coming back from, one mediocre release? The "comeback" label doesn't make sense... and yet, it feels right.

Perhaps it's because this is their first album recorded without secret weapon Carlos D. More likely, though, it's because their precise, particular sound boxed them in and essentially doomed them to a disappointing career — while "Obstacle 1" is outstanding, who needs "Obstacle 47"? Paul Banks and co. must realize this, because on new song "Ancient Ways," Banks mutters "Fuck the ancient ways," while the song completely embraces them. It's Interpol 101, all glib, glum glamour over wiry, angular post-post-punk.

But, like the driving, jittery "All the Rage Back Home," this is more invigorating and immediate than anything off Interpol, which, again, we're not even sure happened. It seems the band has found some new inspiration in these ancient ways.

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