Sep 23, 2022
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By Andy Von Pip

For some, Editors have never quite recaptured the thrilling dark euphoria of their glittering debut album, 2005’s The Back Room. It certainly appeared to be an album informed by the edgy claustrophobia of the likes of Joy Division and Interpol, but also with flourishes of U2 levels of arena pomp. Their second album, 2007’s An End Has a Start, expanded on that initial dark template and flew straight into the UK charts at no.1. Yet Editors, unlike many of their peers, ‌were not the sort of band to hit on a successful formula and relentlessly stick with it. Rather than churn out variations on the same theme, Editors soon began to expand their sound and introduce a much more electronic edge to their oeuvre.

The recent addition of composer Benjamin John Power (aka Blanck Mass and also one of the founding members of the drone band Fuck Buttons) as a permanent member was certainly an exciting move and on their first full album together, EBM, Editors genuinely sound invigorated.

From the moment “Heart Attack” kicks in, the album barely pauses for breath. “Picturesque” is a battering ram of a tune, a relentless dark electro goth rock banger, whilst “Karma Climb,” a track frontman Tom Smith has explained is “about hedonistic escapism,” has the classic dark sheen of early Editors work but is given a fresh shot of adrenaline from Power’s urgent relentless electronic beats and flourishes.

Elsewhere, the intensity of “Strawberry Lemonade” means you can forgive some of Smith’s dafter lyrics in particular the wince-inducing rhyming of “renegade” with “lemonade,” whereas “Vibe” conjures up Depeche Mode in their sweaty dark disco leather years.

Perhaps they save the best till last in the form of “Strange Intimacy,” with John Carpenter-style spidery keyboards, scything guitars, and their innate ability to craft soaring indie rock choruses. EBM is a fine album and despite Smith’s predilection for dark portentous lyrics, it certainly sounds like the band had fun exploring the different possibilities the addition of Powers has afforded them. It’s strange that a band who were accused of looking to the past for inspiration and sniffily dismissed as “Boy Division” have remained so forward looking rather than stagnate in a miasma of nostalgia. (www.editors-official.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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