Album: Julian Plenti is… Skyscraper

So Interpol’s frontman Paul Banks has joined the growing ranks of blokes in bands releasing solo records, but does the world need another outlet for his creative juices?

On first listen, and particularly on first track Only If You Run, you’d have to say a big fat ‘no’. It plods, it whines, and it lacks any of the tense energy of Interpol at their best.

Things improve markedly on the single Fun That We Have, which carries a decent tune and some interesting electronic stylings. Plenti also takes a worthwhile diversion into classical, albeit synthetic, instrumentation on the title track and Madrid Song¹. The more upbeat Unwind is a highlight, with horns and piano bringing it to life and raising it above mere tinkering.

Overall, this album feels too much like a vanity project, and with a non too-interesting back-story at that – Banks discovered Logic Pro in 2006, messed around with it for a couple of years, and this is the first fruits.

As a result, the album is an interesting documentation of Banks’ creative process, but lacks any real warmth, and also highlights his slightly dull voice.

Comparisons with Interpol may be unfair, but you really do begin to yearn for the taught, sexy bass lines of Carlos D as the album drags on.

Banks has said that there’s plenty more Plenti where this came from. On the evidence of this record, he might be better off getting back to the day job.

Words: Joe Downie