Julian Plenti... is Skyscraper (3 stars)

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Julian Plenti... is Skyscraper

(Matador)

It’s not always surprising when a guitarist or keyboard player unveils solo desires, but when the frontman of a band steps up, it seems a bit weird. Now, as Julian ‘Strokes’ Casablancas attempts to convince us that he really is the brains behind his outfit, we get this from Julian Plenti – aka Paul Banks from Interpol.

This album enjoys much of the same motorik, metronomic vibe that makes his day job so entrancing, but this is more playful, like if his band of New Yorkers got a Snow Patrol makeover, swapping moments of melodic ambition for the brooding menace. Much of his music here is still bathed in that familiar melancholy, but the chiming acoustics and quivering strings on ‘Skyscraper’ suggests film score before moshpit and ‘Games for Days’ lets rip like Interpol never have – and prove this is more than just a detour.

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