Paul Banks – Julian Plenti Lives EP review

If you’ve been feeling the void that has been Interpol’s absence for the past couple of years, you may rejoice and get your fix through Paul Banks’s latest solo EP release Julian Plenti Lives.

Paul Banks seems a man of many faces, what with being rock band Interpol’s lead singer as well as solo artist via alter ego Julian Plenti. His background seems to testify to this diversity as well, given his childhood and younger years spent in England, the U.S., Spain and Mexico—bilingualism included. Banks’s career with Interpol began in 1997 after meeting fellow Brit-born member Daniel Kessler. With a style comparable to the likes of Joy Division and The Smiths, Interpol has released four albums thus far: Turn on the Bright Lights (2002), Antics (2004), Our Love to Admire (2007), and Interpol (2010). By 2007, it seemed that Interpol would not be the bandmates’ sole focus, what with drummer Sam Fogarino joining a side project early that same year and Paul Banks’s alias Julian Plenti emerging in 2009 in his own first solo album titled Julian Plenti is… Skyscraper. Banks’s solo work encompasses experimentation and individuality while faithfully delivering his signature powerful set of pipes.

The Julian Plenti Lives EP—Paul Banks’s second solo project—along with the track “Summertime is Coming” were released on June 26th 2012 on Matador Records. The limited quantities—2300 vinyls and 1800 cd copies made available worldwide—may create a sense of urgency for die hard fans. “Summertime is Coming” appropriately channels the spirit of the season while Banks’s voice in the haunting “I’m A Fool to Want You” hits eerily—yet pleasantly, no doubt—close to the original. Although the EP only consists of five tracks, the Frank Sinatra, Harold Faltermeyer, and J Dilla remakes along with the two originals are sure to delight alternative rock fans.

The only complaint may be the album’s noticeable briefness. But it just might be the perfect tease needed to build up to the climax that will be Banks’s second full length album release in October 2012.

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