Let's get it straight out the way right now, shall we? Yep, Editors could undoubtedly form a Joy Division tribute act and perfect the epileptic-chic cool with little time needed to refine their sound. Boy Division, anyone?
But if possessing a vocalist with a deep vocal range who sings somewhat seriously over brooding tunes is all that's needed for yells of "Judas!", then perhaps the cynical types could, politely, fuck off. For those left reading, feel free to breathe a collective sigh of relief because the band have gone a long way to justifying the hype they created, (rather unusually), through the quality of their first singles.
The stuff we already know is just as we left it with 'Bullets' still reliably shooting its rather fine load in an explosive fashion. Meanwhile 'Munich' and latest single 'Blood' both display as much melodrama and twitching pop sensibilities as can be fitted in less than four minutes on a piece of circular, shiny plastic. So what of the rest?
Only 'Someone Says' and the stomping 'Fingers In The Factory' reach these sonically charged levels of face-slapping anguish, which initially lends the record an underwhelming feeling at the slower pace. Some might also feel unsatisfied which the squeaky clean production too, when perhaps what we all wanted from the ex-Snowfielders was a bit of a rough, dirty one given to us in 'The Back Room'.
However on repeated listens, the natural beauty of this record undresses itself slowly with an unashamed earnestness. The real flash of inspiration comes with centre-piece 'Camera', which becomes almost biblical with its enriching spirit, replete with echoing church vocals and funeral organ sounds. It's a teasing polaroid of a song which shakes itself into a beautiful landscape pining "You fall from grace/You fall with such grace".
It's how Interpol would sound like if they dealt with universal themes and reflection rather than singing about fellatio fantasies with Stella, or their length of loves. Bloody Americans, always obsessed with sex! The closest Editors come to dealing with night-time antics with this, er, release is on 'Lights' which is a fantastically uplifting re-write of 'Sleeping With The Lights On'. Ah, Busted, so ahead of your time...
"I've got a million things to say" pleads vocalist Tom Smith on this opening track, although this very occasionally descends into GBH of the ears with formulaic offerings such as 'Fall' and 'All Sparks'. It shouldn't really matter as all albums invariably have their weaker tracks, but when a song of the quality of 'Release' languishes as a b-side, it's hard not to feel just a little miffed.
However any doubts and cynicism of the band will be allayed by the end with the sighing lullaby of closer 'Distance'. It soothes and comforts the listener with lines like "I'm sure you're passing the test/I wish you all the best", evoking 'Atmosphere' on a intensive course of Prozac. Shit, there goes the Curtis and co. referencing again, but this is a record many people will be able to live inside for a very long time, and in all honesty, which bands don't have influences? Oscar Wilde was right: "Talent borrows, genius steals."
9Matthew Butler's Score