Editors - Back Room

2006-08-31 17:21
They sound and look like a dozen other bands, most of all Interpol, who are themselves little more than Joy Division repackaged for an audience who can't take the intensity of the real thing. Since we can buy their cd in SA, someone at a record company decided they seemed like a safe bet, and I'm sure they might have a hit single at some point, even if it only languishes in the bottom of the charts. This is a lazy, unambitious record, and any fan of music with soul should avoid it.

The record starts with reasonable indie rocker, “Lights”, all grim deadpan vocals, echoey guitars and a beat straight out of 1983. It would certainly be easy to mistake it for a record from that era, except the production is top notch, so it's like The Chameleons in 5.1 surround.

It also sounds like Interpol in almost every way, and this is were the greatest problem lies. If you are going to wear your influences on your sleeve, you have to make sure that 90% of your sound is culled from a single influence, and that is even more important when that band is a more popular band playing the same current genre as you are. You run the risk of looking and sounding like a clone, and an idiot.

It doesn't help either, that every song has been written according to the same formula. An Interpol cast-off riff leads us into a tale of banality, delivered in a sombre post-Ian Curtis drone, often repeating a single empty line for a chorus, as if it were the word of God announcing Doomsday. "People are fragile things you should know by now", "Blood runs through our veins, that's where our similarity ends", "All sparks will burn out in the end" and so on, and so on. It sounds really deep, but upon closer inspection none of these songs say anything at all. They sound like new wave indie rock songs from some sensitive young men, but they are just a series of musical nothings that would make Oasis proud.

With all this vitriol, you might wonder why they warrant 2 stars instead of 1, or none. I can't deny that beneath the posing and vacuous content, lie some half-buried decent pop songs. Were they from SA, Editors would probably be the darlings of the rock scene, despite being derivative hacks, so they really aren't all that bad. Everyone has heard worse, and by the standards of most radio pop this isn't dreadful. Only it isn't worth spending money on, or even listening to. If you like Franz Ferdinand or Interpol, buy them, or failing that, buy one of the hundreds of better and more exciting bands playing in the new wave rock genre.

"If we run, they'll look in the back room, where we hide all of our feelings" to quote yet another dreary indistinguishable track. My feelings are of boredom and contempt, and I'm willing to bet yours will be too.

- Ivan Sadler
Birmingham new wave newcomers churn out a faceless debut effort devoid of character and life.

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Kiksi 2006/09/07 5:59 PM
Agreed I really enjoyed this review! Funny thing is that they have been recieved well in the UK. They were nominated for the Mercury music prize which is quite a prestigious industry award (they didnt win it thankfully). I agree with your thoughts on the album - nothing that makes them stand out from the saturated indie market. There is a really cool version of 'all sparks' by Corinne Bailey-Rae though, which outshines their version if you ask me!
Saundre 2006/09/12 8:28 AM
Highly disagree I disagree with the review, I think that 'The Back Room' is a brilliant album. I love the Joy Division influence it contains. It is one of indie rock's best feats. One of the best albums I have heard so far in a long time. The album is dark and understated, superb to say the least.
Iain 2007/05/17 9:16 AM
not sure i would just like to make note to the reviewer... before ones makes judgement on what "sound" a band has, perhaps it would be best to find out who the band members are? particularly what bands they come from? this review just shows the lack of depth, research and quality in internet journalism...
Iain 2007/05/17 9:23 AM
my bad apologies...i was in fact refering to another review, i had my screens mixed up...apologies to the reviewer...
Vincent 2008/06/30 8:23 PM
reviewers are a joke disagree. This is an amazing album. Been going through some of the reviews here and just noticed that 90% of them are just dipshits showing their "so called" musical knowledge. they write reviews and continually quote from other artists or mention obscure albums. Fact is I only read these reviews to see the losers that they are, no one really gives a shit about what they say. All trying out for Rolling Stone I think.
Pietbril 2008/11/13 2:24 PM
What??!1 This is a brilliant Album!! Can't believe this review.
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