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E D I T O R S
British Indie band 'Editors' were formed in 2002. After several name changes the originally Brummie based quartet of Tom Smith, Chris Urbanowicz, Russell Leetch and Ed Lay were ready to draft some hard hitting Dark Indie Doom and gloom onto the masses and to re-write (edit) indie folklore.
Editors' debut album 'The Back Room' was released in 2005 which went platinum. Four singles were released of it Bullets, Munich, Blood and All Sparks. Blood was the most successful charting at number 18. Their follow-up album 'An End Has a Start' went straight to the top of the UK album charts in June 2007 also going platinum and out selling their debut album. Five singles were released most notable 'Racing Rats' and 'Smokers outside the Hospital Doors'.
T H E B A N D
Thomas Michael Henry Smith - (born 29 April 1981) Born in Stroud, Gloucestershire Tom is Lead singer and lyricist, Tom also plays keyboards, piano and rhythm guitar. Aside from his musical exploits he is famous for dating radio one DJ Edith Bowman. Smith's vocal style has been compared to that of post-punk singers such as Ian Curtis of Joy Division, Paul Banks of Interpol and Robert Smith of The Cure.
Christopher Dominic Urbanowicz - (born 22 June 1981) Born in Aslockton, Nottinghamshire is the lead guitarist and synthesizer player. Chris now living in New York is my favorite member of the band as he supports my football team NOTTINGHAM FOREST!!
Russell Jonathan Leetch - (born 5 March 1982) From Solihull, Birmingham Russell is the bass guitarist, whom also plays piano and sings backing vocals.
Edward Owen Lay - (born 20 February 1981) Born in Ipswich Ed is the band's drummer. An Ipswich native, Lay met his band mates whilst completing the Music Technology programme at Staffordshire University. Whilst Editors awaited musical popularity, the band members held odd jobs to make ends meet, Lay worked in a shoe shop with Editors guitarist Chris Urbanowicz, Whilst Smith and Leetch worked in a call centre.
Editors released their third album, 'In This Light and on This Evening' on 12th October 2009. Despite the popularity of the opening albums this represents a significant shift in direction. We are educated with synthesizers and electronics, and a new moodier dark rawer sound highlighted with plenty of industry and atmosphere. The arrangement and dynamics have totally changed. Catchy guitar riffs however still apparent have now taken a back seat, allowing more room for maneuvere. The New electric feel is the main substance with the eerie intensity of Smith's voice ever present.
Following its release, the album debuted at number one in the UK album charts. The album also features a deluxe edition with a bonus extended play of five more tracks, called Cuttings 2. The first single of this album released in October 2009 was Papillon, followed up by 'You don't know love' which was released January 2010 on my birthday! Third single to be released in May this year will be 'Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool'.
T R A C K S
1 In this Light and on This Evening 4.21
The Album title track kicks us off very eerily; haunting synthesizers' ripple gently in the background to Smith's desperate drab monotonically sounds. The opener sounds much machined and dark, the steadied rhythm is arduous and grizzly, maybe has a 80s sound. Joyful this isn't and a very new sound for Editors. I actually think this song works better as an intro when the singing is cut, the chaotic riff is balanced and pulsating, it's not exactly driven by flair, but it's catchy and tells it story unlike the poor repetitive lyrics. This may work really well live but for an album track it's a no from me. 4/10
2 Bricks and Mortar 6.21
Again driven from the off with annoying catchy synthesizers, that swirl and jaunt sporadically around in the air, it's a fairly joyous effort, interlinked with a forthcoming drum line. Echoing harmonies give the chorus a little substance maybe a church like feel at times, but I'm not enamoured with the sound. The singing is much livelier, but on the whole although the track is quite bouncy in appeal, underlying still very dark and most notable tedious. 3/10
3 Papillon 5.24
First single released of the album Papillon, starts off energetic, and has a flowing rhythmic led beat with simple synthesizers that are apparent throughout, equipped with a constant drum line. It's incredibly pulsating with a two toned synth feel of over-lapping simple lines. The arrangement is fantastic, and really drives the track forward, picking up momentum as we go. The singing is clever, using the power in his tones suitably at the right moments. Whilst the backing singing gives a choir like feel. Its most notably compared to that of Joy Division. Happy days, we are at last kicking more mainstream indie vibes, and the dark edge has lifted slightly, but not without it's edge. 7/10
4 You Don't Know Love 4.39
It's no surprise to me that this was the second single released of the album, although following the synthetic style; we are back to basics grafted by guitars and more electricity. The outlook of this ballad is still pretty morbid; the haunted choir like harmonies in the backdrop and the howling almost haunted riffs are accompanied by Smith's own echoing yearning tones. It's simple but very effective, lyrically tight, adding to the substance of this effort, thumbs up here. 8/10
5 The Big Exit 4.44
Machined opening, menacing and chaotic, some strange jaunty almost out of tune manufactured sounds. Real somber mournful deathly feel to this, expressed by almost awkwardly slow guitar work, echoed again with more awful synthesizers making this a harrowing painful sound. It's enterprising, and most definitely different, but I think it sucks. As the song progresses the variety in Smith's tones gives the song a lift but on the whole it's ordinary, repetitive and not something I'd wish to listen to again quite frankly. 2/10
6 The Boxer 4.40
Seductively the Boxer pulls you in with its atmospheric vibe. The wiring continuous sound gives it plenty of mystery and depth. It's painfully slow, from start to finish; eerie soft lines keep on tip toeing to Smith's yearning almost heartfelt tones. Its simple arrangement works well on this and I'm drawn to this song straight away, it's moody almost Radiohead like in direction but without the quirky edges. The boxer wins on points for me, no straight knockout. 7/10
7 Like Treasure 4.52
Kicks off with a nice rhythm, still very atmospheric but not as dark as previous songs, a gentle sound accompanies Smith's yearning tones. Mid song a mix of synthesizers and nothing else do the song no justice at all, why? It's a hazy song that has it's moments but lacks any kind of charisma (like plod) It works to a point but not something you would remember. Average 5/10
8 Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool 4.53
Imaginative quirky little number, mysterious journey of clattering percussion and what sounds like duck calls, are surprisingly inventive the haunted synthesizers work nicely to set the mood. Smith's sounds Is intricate and interchangeable. Lyrics are tight and enterprising if a little odd, which fits nicely into the nature of the track. Very different sounds again, but I think this works so well. 7/10
9 Walk the Fleet Road 3.47
Exciting intro of strange noises, synthesizers and echoing choirs. Haunted somber feel once more but with added sentiment, accompanied by a mix up of Smith's vocal range. Although dark in approach, it's soft and slow mix of strange beats and echoing choir harmonies and up and down pulsating synths works fairly well, having said that it's a fairly drab and tedious finale to the album, leaving you with very little emotion. 5/10
Cuttings (Deluxe edition)
I've not got the deluxe version: But sampled the tracks online
1 This House is Full of Noise 6.22
Eerie stuttering start with clattering synthesizers, but so engaging, I just cannot understand why it's not on the main album; it's an epic song full of lust and drama. Its harmonies are perfect, guitar riffs subtle and yet explosive, Smith's vocal range lingering and almost painfully yearning at times. The journey is long, but painless, I love it! Hoorah 9/10
2 I Want a Forest 3.59
Nice sharp synthesizing intro, vibrant cutting noises that fizz into the background. Edgy drumming gives the song so much atmosphere. Chorus lines are deeply engaging, bringing the song out of its dark turmoil. Smith's voice is at its best. Again why is this not on the main album, it works so well. 8/10
3 A Life as a Ghost 4.33
Wall of sound opens up 'A life as a Ghost', it's noisy and atmospheric. The sinister crescendo of sounds from the synths and poignant guitar work are relayed wave after wave. It's ghostly as the title suggests, but lacks enough quality for me; the mix does nothing, and sounds all too familiar. 4/10
4 Human 3.12
Searching for belief, with the grit in your teeth. And you're human yet
Quirky use of synths and percussion giving us a steady rhythm that last throughout. Smith's voice is back to his usual infamous best here, using his range well that interchanges nicely with patches of instrumentals that give the track added verve. It's not faultless or anywhere near stand out, however so much better than some of the album track, not bad at all. 6/10
5 For the Money 3.57
Sinister and rather dramatic! Maybe they should have used this song to complete the album. Not a great deal of singing just a mixture of dark thrashing cutting fizzing sounds. Think this track would be pretty amazing live, marching crashing and overwhelming noise that builds to a crescendo of sound. Nicely done. 6/10
S U M M A R Y
Firstly, before I evaluate the album, I'm a massive Editors fan, most notably the second album. With all this in mind I was so looking forward to their new album and sound, but boy was I disappointed, you cannot fault artists for a change in direction, or trying to stretch themselves, but was this a stretch too far? Long gone are the anthemic indie guitar riffs that Editors fan are used to, replaced with shoddy synthesizers and sinister electronic sounds. The buoyancy in Smith's voice has vanished and limited to harrowing echoing tones. The settings are all too dark and edgy for me; and I despise the atmospheric icy haunted feel to almost every track. The sounds have variety but not ones I really care for. If you're expecting something to dance to, or tap your feet, look elsewhere because you won't be finding it here. To be honest I don't really know how it makes me feel, which maybe the problem, nothing? Or is it because I was expecting something totally different? As a fan, I really want to be educated by their new sound and enjoy it, but it's not going to happen. I could never recommend this; unless you're a fan of the 80s indie scene. It's not all bad Light is apparent but the dark definitely over shadows the mood. I personally am disappointed and looking forward to hopefully a different approach from album number four!! 3.5/10
Standard Edition: £4.49
Deluxe Edition: £11.99
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 1 In This Light And On This Evening
2 2 Bricks And Mortar
3 3 Papillon
4 4 You Don't Know Love
5 5 The Big Exit
6 6 The Boxer
7 7 Like Treasure
8 8 Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool
9 9 Walk The Fleet Road