England's Editors and their debut album the BACK ROOM, an invigorating, intoxicating blend of UK industrial town rock music and present day thump, carrying a brightness in sound which separates it from the pack.
Sure, The Editors are a bit dour, what with songs like "Blood" and "Bullets" and "Fall" sporting baleful themes. And the oft-noted similarity between them and Interpol will be apparent to listeners on the near-instant basis of the bands' singers, who share a bellowy, stentorian voice, which means, really, that both are fond of Joy Division's Ian Curtis. The Editors, in fact, come closer to Joy Division (geographically they're nearly kin, being from Manchester). Deploying an instrumental color palette of their dark early-80s predecessors, The Editors win with chiming guitar work--as on "Someone Says," which shifts rhythms a la Interpol even while sounding wider-ranged and better-lit. Vocally, Tom Smith can wobble the edges with tremors of urgency stoked by Chris Urbanowicz's guitar atmospherics and occasional outbursts. "Fingers in the Factories," a lyrically mirthless little number that interjects a stellar combo of simple beat and bright-toned guitars to charge up the labor-related lyrics, driving Smith to an emotional charge, something that lots of post-Echo and the Bunnymen ensembles have difficulty doing convincingly. The Editors manage energy in the service of drama, a near-necessity in rock. --Andrew Bartlett