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Enter the Characters

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars Derivative music but oh so enjoyable 14 Jan. 2012
By Paul Allaer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Customs is an up-and-coming band out of Belgium (where I grew up). The band basically came out of nowhere with this debut album, which originally was released in Europe in October, 2009 (not in 2005 as noted here on Amazon). If you are not familiar with Customs, think Editors and you're pretty much there.

"Enter the Characters" (12 tracks; 43 min.) starts with a 30 sec. instrumental "Enter" and then dives straight into "The Matador" (3rd single), with its urgent and upbeat sound. The album is front-loaded with strong songs. "Justine (2nd single) comes next, followed by "Tonight We All Stand Out" (which could've been another single) and "Rex" (1st single), which remains the band's signature song and was the top single for 2009 on Belgium's alternative music station Studio Brussel. "Where the Moon Spends His Days" rounds out the album's first half, and what an incredible first half it is indeed, which I rate 4.5 stars. The second half of the album could not possible be as strong, but still has several great moments, including "We Are Ghosts" and "Shut Up, Narcissus" (4th single). The songs all clip by in no time and before you know, 43 min. have come and gone and you'll want to play this album again.

Much has been made about the derivative sound of Customs, which reminds you of Editors in their heydays, to which I say, so what? It sounds great, and I have enjoyed this album many times over. Tom Smith (singer/songwriter of Editors) probably wishes he could write an album like this at this point, as Editors have faltered badly in recent years. Last but not least, Customs is part of a crop of very promising bands out of Belgium, check out also Black Box Revelation and Triggerfinger, just to name those. Meanwhile "Enter the Characters" is highly recommended!
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