The technical aspects derived from the Editors’ music education suggest an earnest and disciplined approach to making debut album The Back Room. Linked to the post-punk revival, this Birmingham, UK band follow the Northern tradition of brooding and cerebral songwriting. In contrast to their sharp-quilled ancestors (such as Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen) this indie band is too measured.Aspects of the template are there, by invoking the working-class experience in “Fingers in the Factories” and self-deprecation with lyrics like, “if fortune favors the brave/ I am as awful as they come.” Editors write some great singles, the potency and catchiness of “Munich” and “Blood” are proof. With repetition, the melody and groove are contagious. A succinct description for listeners of their radio singles is essentially Editors are Interpol-light. The band thrives with tight technique but is missing the darkness and depth of ardor. Singer Tom Smith’s introspection doesn’t resonate in a personal way due to the contrived and abstract nature of the lyrics. There is a recurring and precise drum line appearing in every track only to hinder distinction and force itself upon the ear. The persistence of this gnawing drum line makes the album as a whole hard to swallow.
The genuine seriousness of the craft is appreciated, especially in the current musical climate. Hints of this group’s potential are to be found in the track “Camera,” lyrically touching and sincere, the song thrusts with musical inertia. Editors only need first to break down the walls of the pedagogy.