Editors publish quality work on The Back Room

by Beacon Staff • March 15, 2006

This same repression and angst is carried throughout the entirety of the album (which hits stores on Tuesday); although this angst might sound unappealing, the members of Editors are true to their name and know how to pump out tight songs punctuated by wisely chosen words.,The title for Editors' debut CD, The Back Room, comes from a cut called "Camera," in which lead singer Tom Smith proclaims that location is "where we hide all our feelings."

This same repression and angst is carried throughout the entirety of the album (which hits stores on Tuesday); although this angst might sound unappealing, the members of Editors are true to their name and know how to pump out tight songs punctuated by wisely chosen words.

The brevity of the band-which also features Chris Urbanowicz on guitars, Russell Leetch on bass and Ed Lay on drums - can be seen in the song titles; many are one word. The lyrics are much the same with Smith laconically lamenting love and loss.

The CD begins on a high note with "Lights," a short but captivating track where Smith, over instrumentals that would not sound out of place with the early work of U2, sings "if fortune favours the brave, I am as poor fool as they come / I've got a million things to say, I've got a million things to ."

Although the words might fail him there, they are delivered through the rest of The Back Room.

The remaining 11 songs are characterized by the hard-charging rhythm section and a vocal assault from Smith, whose lyrics are often repetitive to drive a certain point home.

This works best on tracks like the lead-off single "Munich" and "All Sparks;" particularly in the former, where Smith intones that "people are fragile things you should know by now / be careful what you put them through."

While most of the lyrics ring true like this, they are sometimes over simplistic; take "Blood" for example, where a fine performance from each member of the band is slightly marred by the chorus of "blood runs through your veins / That's where our similarities end."

Editors has had a hard time making its own name; not only is the band faced with the unenviable challenge of trying to compete with fellow countrymen Arctic Monkeys for airplay, Editors also garners constant comparisons to both Joy Division and Interpol.

The similarities are undeniable-each band has a particular fondness for well-crafted bass lines and brooding, atmospheric vocals.

Editors, however, draws from more sources than these two, lending an intensity that recalls Echo the Bunnymen and early R.E.M. to create a satisfying whole.

Even if the band can't shake the comparisons, it's certainly not bad company to be in.

What sets the band apart is its live show.

Editors played a sold out show at Allston's Great Scott in January, where Smith stood out, delivering his lyrics with passion while contorting his body frenetically; this is a welcome change from Interpol's recent shows, which have become boring in that band's casual indifference.

Editors return to Boston on Monday, co-headlining a show with Stellastarr* and the band's performance will undoubtedly be worth the $16 ticket; if you go, be sure to bring some extra cash because after the show you'll probably want to pick up your own copy of The Back Room.,Bryan O'Toole