Genre: Indie Rock / Alternative Rock
Release Date: 23rd September 2022
“If something has to change, then it always does”. This line from ‘Bullets’ (‘The Back Room’), released in 2005, could also stand for EDITORS’ music itself. Change and risk-taking are no strangers to the band around singer Tom Smith, especially in their own music. From the beginning, the guys from Birmingham have bent and mixed genres and experimented with new sounds. Sure, this may confuse some people and the band may have lost old-school fans with each new album, but steadily gained new fans as well. That may also be the case with the current album.
On ‘EBM’ EDITORS seem even more political and angry. The songs reflect the inner disruption of the people in their home country after Brexit and the pandemic as you can hear in ‘Strawberry Lemonade’ (“Can you feel the broken nation”). The lyrics are about equivocal, abysmal people and celebrate the gloom and people who feel like outsiders. So ‘Karma Climb’ is about how people don’t care who they hurt when they climb to the top. ‘EBM’ is the Brits’ seventh studio album and the first album featuring their new full time member Benjamin John Power aka BLANCK MASS. The title is an acronym of EDITORS and BLANCK MASS, but of course it also refers to the Electronic Body Music genre that originated in the 80s and 90s. The genre, the scene and the style have strongly influenced ‘EBM’. And new member Powers was called a shot of adrenaline for the creative process.
With only nine tracks, the album seems to be quite short. However, the songs are given plenty of time to unfold their power. Inexorably and vibrating, ‘EBM’ connects the physical as well as the emotional. Tracks like ‘Heart Attack’ or ‘Pituresque’ get hard driven and seem like a mad attack on the senses. In ‘Karma Climb’, Smith’s baritone hops over brooding guitars and pounding drum pads to a shrill bassline. The gripping ballad ‘Kiss’ is the longest track on the album at almost eight minutes. It starts powerfully with buzzing synth lines, but unfortunately drags on a bit in the end. The calm ‘Silence’ works with the contrast. Smith’s wonderfully dark voice, which on the one hand stands almost alone and then is repeatedly superimposed. ‘Strawberry Lemonade’ combines screeching synthesizers and driving drum beats while ‘Vibe’ comes as relatively poppy and is unusually compact. ‘Educate’ is reminiscent of NEW ORDER or early THE CURE with its beautiful synth lines and tearing guitar sounds. And ‘Strange Intimacy’ brings the album to a stunning finale that leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. By far the strongest song on the album for me.
Unfortunately, ‘EBM’ does not always develop its full potential. Live, the new songs are even more powerful and convincing. I wish the band could have carried that energy over to the album. But EDITORS make a lot out of most of the songs and give the album a lot of insistence, especially in terms of sound. A further development that has paid off in the end. The album comes on Digital / 2LP (limited, numbered, gatefold LP in crystal clear vinyl, in limited orange vinyl, standard black vinyl) / CD / Cassette.
01. Heart Attack
03. Karma Climb
06. Strawberry Lemonade
09. Strange Intimacy
Tom Smith - lead vocals, guitar, piano
Russell Leetch - bass guitar, synthesizer, backing vocals
Ed Lay - drums, percussion, backing vocals
Justin Lockey - lead guitar
Elliott Williams - keys, synthesizers, guitars, backing vocals
Benjamin John Power – keys, production
http://www.editors-official.com / https://www.facebook.com/editorsmusic
Extras: 10 (limited orange and crystal-clear vinyl / signed CD / cassette / tote Bag)
Total: 8.7 / 10