7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Hold the front page.....here are Editors,
This review is from: The Back Room (Audio CD)
The question is are The Editors charlatans clinging onto the stylistic coat tails of other much better bands , or do they have something fresh and exciting to offer? The answer on hearing The Back Room is no on both counts. They are not charlatans. Anyone who can write songs with the thrilling urgency of "Blood" or the breathless dynamics of "Fingers in the Factories" has plenty to offer. Yet it's tough to deny that there is absolutely nothing original in what they do. They do sound like Interpol, but everyone goes on about it as if it's a bad thing. I'm sure it's not deliberate , but even if it was , being half as good as where Interpol are now wouldn't be an unmitigated disaster. But here's the good news, on the evidence of this album they are way better than that anyway. The Back Room is a hugely enjoyable listen.
As for obvious reference points. Well Magazine, New Order, early Echo and the Bunnymen, Comsat Angels spring easily to mind. That's not a bad list. But of course the songs need to bear the weight of those influences. Aided by vocalist Tom Smiths tremulous epileptic vocals a song like the mournful "Fall" belies it slightly cumbersome arrangement to achieve a measure of grandiose beauty. "All Sparks" has a terrific serrated riff, and even an air of pomposity fails to lessons its impact. On "Bullets", the chords ring like sleigh bells at a Santa Claus convention, bringing to mind The Edge which in my book isn't a good thing but thankfully that soon passes as a more acerbic tone kicks in. "Someone Says" briefly brings to mind indie greats Kitchens of Distinction with it's mercurial vapour trails of sound but in truth is rather an under whelming song. "Open Your Arms" starts inconspicuously but with the stretching of the vocals, filtering in of the baritone backing and the extended middle eight of gyrating chords and staccato percussion it attains a true melancholic majesty. Opening track "Lights" and the following "Munich" are superb tension packed pop/rock songs notable for the vital echo laden guitar chords.
Only final track, the ponderous "Distance" fails to engage in any way. The Editors sound like they grew up loving so many of the bands the crop of recent revivalists allude to. Barring Interpol who have released two outstanding albums, this is the best of the bunch. Better than The Bloc party, better then The Bravery and yes better than Franz Ferdinand ( I haven't heard their new one yet mind).Like I said before they do nothing original but there is a empirical chemistry at the heart of this bands songs. If I may paraphrase one of those songs for my own purposes. The blood of music runs through their veins. And the pulse is strong.