The Back Room

Studio Album by released in 2005
The Back Room's tracklist:
Lights
Munich
Blood
Fall
All Sparks
Camera
Fingers in the Factories
Bullets
Someone Says
Open Your Arms
Distance

The Back Room review

Birmingham’s Editors have had a dream start to their career so far, a limited edition single release that is critically acclaimed, followed by a second single that makes a visible dent on the top twenty five and then topping that with the recent release of Blood which found itself nestling around the twenty mark. After three blistering singles in a row the group’s full length LP The Back Room doesn’t fail to excite. One look at the cover art and packaging tells you that this is not going to be an album full of glorious summer melodies and joyful pop songs. In The Back Room Editors have created an album full of dark, epic, yet at the same time uplifting songs. With the inclusion of clockwork drum machine rhythms, cowbells and throbbing basslines, Editors create a style of indie you could expect to find slotted in-between house tracks on a club dancefloor. It is Tom Smith’s icy, looming, laconic monotone that does the most prominent work in defining the band. It has a slight touch of theatre to it, in that it feels like a performance piece.

The album begins with Lights, which sets the stall out for the rest of the album impressively. After racing their way through Lights (the song is the shortest on the album at just 2 and a half minutes), the band unleashes the 2 singles Munich and Blood. Both are well penned, and are worthy of the hit status they have achieved. Fall introduces another side of Editors, as they slow things down to create a slow-burning epic, before All Sparks picks up the pace once again. Then comes the centerpiece of the album – the sublime Camera. Described by the band as their attempt at a ballad, it showcases Editors’ full range of talents and is arguably the best track on the album. Fingers In The Factories matches the brilliance of Camera in an altogether different way – this time with a menacing chorus and a driving drum rhythm, which never relent. The debut single Bullets keeps up the quality before the album closes with two more of the slower songs – the anthemic Open Your Arms and the beautiful Distance.

The excitement, energy and passion on display here dismiss any lazy comparisons to Joy Division and Echo And The Bunnymen. Editors do not sound like Joy Division. By virtue of a baritone voice and a shared aesthetic dealing with love, loss, disease and despair, singer guitarist Tom Smith has invited countless comparisons with the late Ian Curtis but unlike the Mancunian quartet, Editors sound is less starkly mechanoid and industrial, less anguished and wrapped in a more organic milieu that offers glimpses of redemption and hope. This album grabs you by the scruff of the neck and demands your attention. Editors have mastered the art of melody and, coupled with a sense of dynamics, atmospherics and drama, have created a thing of tormented beauty. As well as producing one of the year’s more stunning debut albums, Editors have taken the first significant step out of the gloom of The Back Room and into the light of what should prove to be a long and enduring journey.

(09.08.2005)
Rate review4.74
Total votes - 82


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