Editors are to Birmingham, England, what the Killers are to Las Vegas: a quartet whose glossy melodrama has brought an eye to an otherwise musically maligned city. However, a cursory listen to The Back Room (due for US release in April) reveals an album that could just as easily come out of Manchester or Manhattan, with continual echoes of Joy Division-by-way-of-Interpol (plus a dash or two of stellastarr* and perhaps even the Stills). Then again, the neo–new wave of the Killers doesn’t exactly scream Las Vegas. With tonal similarities to two classic Ians — Joy Division’s Curtis and the Bunnymen’s McCulloch — buoyed by guitars that switch from staccato riffs to jangly melodies, Editors are at their best on The Back Room’s more stomping tracks, where the vocals seem less affected (“Munich,” “Blood,” “Bullets,” and “Fingers in the Factory” are the standouts). This is a frontloaded album that gets mired in unnecessary brooding after three charged opening tracks, and only regains its momentum when the band loosen up for a couple of quirky tunes. But they’ve certainly chosen an apt name: editors — and, in this case, Editors — excel at distilling, condensing, and ensuring a piece, whether its written or played, is entertaining, even if in this case it’s not particularly innovative.
Editors + Twenty Twos | Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston | Jan 22 | 617.566.9014