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A Fine Mess [EP] Image
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Summary: The five-track EP from the New York City indie rock band was recorded with Dave Fridmann.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. May 20, 2019
    60
    While it's an improvement from their lowest ebbs, it will equally never match their highest peaks.
  2. Jun 11, 2019
    60
    A Fine Mess is quintessentially Interpol, almost to a fault. While it's a little undercooked compared to the songs that appeared on Marauder, the EP may still please fans wanting more of that album's vibe.
  3. May 20, 2019
    60
    What’s disappointing about A Fine Mess is not just that the songs are unremarkable but also that they don’t deviate from the band’s usual approach in any notable way. There are no oddball experiments here, no genre strays, no real risks to speak of. There are just five more songs that sound a lot like Interpol, for fans for whom that is always enough.
  4. May 20, 2019
    60
    There's no other unifying theme at work here; no great banner to be found overhead. A Fine Mess is just that--scattered outtakes from producer Dave Fridmann's (The Flaming Lips) stellar work with the band from the previous year.
  5. May 22, 2019
    56
    Interpol might still be an exceptional act, but it’s a chore to have to squint this hard to see it.
  6. May 20, 2019
    48
    Ultimately, A Fine Mess is a subpar offering that sounds like you’d imagine it to: a handful of B-sides with varying degrees of enjoyment, made worse by a myriad of problems. Devoted fans should find a meagre portion of redemption here, but to the casual listener this will bring little enjoyment to the table.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Aug 29, 2019
    7
    With Interpol you always get high quality stuff. At their best they are untouchable. The rest of the time they are a great listen. "A FineWith Interpol you always get high quality stuff. At their best they are untouchable. The rest of the time they are a great listen. "A Fine Mess" falls into the latter. I'm an Interpol fan for life and like my other favourite bands, I'm generally just happy to hear new material so lap up any release. The 5 tracks on this are all decent. "A Fine Mess" and "The Weekend" are the picks of the bunch and these are the only tracks that you could argue for a place on one of the bands albums. I'm in the minority that quite liked "Marauder" but it would have benefited from the inclusion of those two tracks. That said, you can see why these songs didn't necessarily fit in in terms of general mood. Then again, Interpol don't really do too much variation on mood. Well worth checking out for long term fans. Those harking for the halycon days of TOTBL will be kept waiting though. Expand
  2. Jul 26, 2019
    4
    I consider myself a fan of Interpol. And when I say fan, I don't mean I'm one of those people who only likes the first two albums and thinksI consider myself a fan of Interpol. And when I say fan, I don't mean I'm one of those people who only likes the first two albums and thinks everything else is trash - I actually like a good amount of their later work as well. I'm not trying to come off as a hater, and if you like this EP, then good! It's never my intention to make people feel bad for liking things.

    Anyway, if it wasn't clear yet, I was not fond of this EP. I don't think that it's insultingly bad or anything, but it just feels so phoned in to me. There are points on this thing were it just feels messy...and not in a way that feels purposeful, such as in lo-fi music or garage rock. And don't get me wrong, I love a lot of projects that sound rough around the edges. But in those cases, that raw sound is driven by vibrant creative energy, something which I unfortunately find this EP to be lacking. Over the years, people have said that Interpol is one of those bands that captured lightning in a bottle with their first record, and then would spend the rest of their career trying to recreate that one jolt of excitement. That was never me - I always felt that Interpol still had the potential to put out another stellar project. But at this point, this EP has managed to make me a fell worried. I'm still not giving up hope yet (some would call me naive), and I still love Interpol. The good news is that this EP is pretty similar to Marauder, so if you thoroughly enjoyed that album then you will probably like this as well. For everyone else, however, that same reaction will likely not be elicited.
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