Sound — 7
The music landscape in Britain now seem to have been divided by Franz Ferdinand. Everybody keeps to be compared to famous rioters -- bands are either before-Franz Ferdinand, alike-Franz Ferdinand or post-Franz Ferdinand. Joy Division tribute band Editor, wonderfully fit post-Franz space with a mid-tempo sonic debut album The Back Room. After a few unlucky attempts superstitious band renamed themselves from The Pride to Snowfield and then, after signing to Kitchenware Records in 20004, to Editors not to let the unlucky charms to follow them. According to the pictures enclosed in the CD booklet, the guys are pretty modest. And so is their music -- gloomy, severe, harsh and no flourishes! The Back Room opener Lights starts without any prelude - on the first second Tom Smith begins to sing I still love the light on baby... It is so straight forward that you wonder if your CD player started playing the track from the middle. There's plenty of emo on the record with Camera being the most emotional track. Drawling melody and keyboard background creates a melodrama picture. Songs are darkly-coloured and minor-harmonized with shrill guitars standing out on the downbeat base. Editors play their music effortlessly in a careless manner, though I guess guys had hard times coming up with new fresh ideas. Songs by all means avoid what we call drive and are rarely catchy. The exceptions may be Camera, Bullet and hypnotic Munich (which is the first single of the album). Most other material seems like a filler -- you forget about it as soon as the tracks ends. Every song has a strong guitar presence and dominant biting guitar lines while drums are very flat and seems like they have been created by one of music computer programs.
Lyrics — 6
The influence of legendary post-punks Joy Division didn't pass over singer Tom Smith and his Ian Curtis-ish lazy vocals. You would rarely find any expression in his baritone singing, Smith sounds like he's yawning, which gets boring at times. When it comes to melodies the band keeps it simple with plain vocal line and poor backvocals. Lyrics are a bit above average level with guess what I mean attitude, though still not very diverse. Songs are highly depressive, howling about death, fear and ermm... feeling blue?.. and yes, Coldplay presence is evident in every song. I wonder how pessimistic you should be to sing Everything I always wanted/Is right there but soon it won't be...
Overall Impression — 7
There's a lack of Cure and Interpol-alike bands that gives this Birmingham's quartet a preference among other up-and-comers. They might not be the best neo-post-punk musicians, but they've already created a big buzz around their debut (The Back Room reached number 13 in the UK during the first week of release and has already gone platinum -- pretty much a success for a new band)! Listening to the album, it gets obvious that The Back Room is Editors' debut LP -- the material is raw and needs some experience. But that's to be expected from a debut album, for the first record it's pretty tolerable. Moody tracks flow smoothly from the first one to the last, sometimes being a bit more optimistic, sometimes more eerie and cynical, but never too far from the melancholy atmosphere of the whole record. Editors got the weakness most new bands suffer from -- music is not very diverse and most songs hardly differ one from another. You would have to listen to The Back Room a few times to get into the purity and earnestness of the record. Primitivism of it looses in between other overloaded and tightly stuffs albums that music markets are full of now.