‘The Back Room’: beautifully composed, easy to relate to

The Back Room is the debut album from English post-punk quartet Editors. Critics are quick to draw comparisons to post-punk titans Joy Division, Echo & the Bunnymen and of course, Interpol. While all these are great bands to be compared to, Editors is one that has established its own identity. Though The Back Room was released in 2005 when the whole “post-punk revival” was taking place, I felt the need to revisit this beautifully orchestrated piece of music. The album is filled with sweeping and soaring guitars, prominent baselines and vocalist/guitarist Tom Smith’s striking baritone vocals. It is an album of consistent high quality from start to finish. Leavening the melancholy with a tense sense of unease, this album flows like an obsidian wave from first song to last. The Back Room opens with “Lights.” Though drumming on the track is simple, the guitar work is very good and the bass puts me at ease. The rest of the album consists of driving, hypnotic tracks such as “Munich,” the wounded-wistful “Camera,” the punchy-insistent “Fingers In The Factories” and the gorgeous “All Sparks” revel in Smith’s brooding, haunting tenor. The album had three U.K. singles, “Bullets,” “Blood” and “Munich,” a handful of unlikely indie-disco floor fillers. “Someone Says” is by far my favorite song on the album. The dazzling guitars and pounding drum lines make up a chorus that makes you want to just get up and dance. Lyrics such as “There’s beauty in the lonely, You’re the moonlight in this town,” gives me chills. I always have reveled in songs that speak to sad, but hopeful, individuals such as myself. The spiky guitars and swirling synth textures that make up this record are hardly visionary, but when it’s all done as effortlessly as this, it sure is exciting, touching on desolate themes of loss and mortality and shooting them through with a sparky, almost hopeful abandon. Editors delivered this album so wonderfully. There is no doubt that I am a fan. I remember being 13 and lonely, listening to ’80s post-punk and feeling like I finally had found my soul. It is cliché to say, but it is true. The Back Room always will be one of my favorites.

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