Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Julian Plenti - Julian Plenti Lives...

The alter-ego of Paul Banks, Julian Plenti, has heralded the release of his second album later in the year, with a 5 song EP, which is a peculiar mix of tracks. The Julian Plenti pseudonym has become an outlet for the Interpol baritone to branch out from his day job, and that is certainly evident on ‘Julian Plenti Lives…’.

The three instrumental tracks break up the EP with opener ‘Perimeter Deactivated’ having the dark intensity which Banks and Interpol have become known for. Even a string section's hopeful staccato cannot lift the feedback heavy guitar riff (think War of the Worlds). Contrastingly ‘Mythsizer’ is a two minute piece of funk interspersed with a woman sporadically talking over the top of it, and emphasises the musical freedom Paul Banks clearly feels when he’s writing as Julian Plenti. ‘Cavern Worship’ is the longest of the three, ending the album in a mix of the funky synths of ‘Mythsizer’ and the typical Interpol guitars, before twisting into a cello solo. With a lot of the EP, the songs are constantly unpredictable, making ‘Julian Plenti Lives…’ a pretty exciting listen at points.

‘Summertime Is Coming’ attempts to be a feel good anthem to celebrate the warm months but unfortunately for Plenti/Banks, his voice puts a dampener on the whole thing. Instead of proclaiming summer it feels like he’s announcing the apocalypse, which is not helped by the heavy instrumentation. Finally in the last minute everything cuts out, leaving just Plenti and an acoustic guitar, and that’s when you remember why you fell for his voice in the first place as he moans softly ‘Can we waste some time colliding in space?’.

Julian Plenti ensures that this EP is worth a listen with his cover of ‘I’m A Fool To Want You’ which is as slinky and sexy as a Bond theme. Quivering violins shimmer over a voice, so suddenly sensuous that you can forget everything about the awkwardness of ‘Summertime Is Coming’ and just revel in the utter gorgeousness of this track. Although overall ‘Julian Plenti Lives…’ is nothing to shout about, this cover definitely is and regardless of your opinion on all things Interpol, you should definitely look out for it.


Jessy Parker Humphreys 

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