ALBUM REVIEW: Editors – EBM
Photo Credit: Rahi Rezvani
Right from the get-go, when they were lumped into the indie sphere, there’s always been a certain charm exuded by every release that bore the Editors‘ name. As such, whenever the Birmingham-based group reveal that an album’s on the way, their fans’ excitement reaches new heights every single time, and rightly so. With a certain composer officially joining the fold this year, a new album by Editors and Blanck Mass was announced to arrive in the fall, known simply as EBM.
Blanck Mass, AKA Benjamin John Power, has previously worked with the band on their last studio album, 2018’s Violence. This new release, however, marks his first contribution as an official member, and it is immediately noticeable in the best way possible. From the opening moments of Heart Attack (a festival-certified opener), the quality of the synths and production is instantly recognisable, a trait which is also attained by Kiss, another single which was well-received by festival-goers throughout the summer. Karma Climb, with Justin Lockley’s moody guitar riffs and Ed Lay’s pounding drum fills, quickly cemented itself as a standout, especially during the band’s festival run.
Elsewhere on the album, Vibe offers a pleasant melody, coupled with a fast paced rhythm, while the frantic Picturesque takes the tempo up to 11 before quickly getting the listener to bob their head along to the track. Strawberry Lemonade also shares this hectic and fast-paced nature, with a layered production and instrumentation courtesy of Power’s presence in the fold – the synths and electronic percussion really get the chance to shine.
Silence showcases vocalist Tom Smith’s vocal range, as well as his piano playing, as the track veers in and out of ballad territory. Clocking in at almost seven minutes in length, Educate balances all the elements found in prior tracks, with some strong drumming, relatively fast pacing, and a memorable chorus. Strange Intimacy, on the other hand, with its long introduction and amalgamation of soundscapes, closes the album in a very theatrical fashion, in a move that is equal parts surprising and typical of the band.
EBM is partly a return to form for Editors, and partly a leap into a new direction. The songs have a sense of urgency and immediacy that’s been missing for a while, but which has now found its way back into the sounds employed by the Birmingham collective. The addition of Blanck Mass, too, has proved beneficial, as it has breathed new life into the band’s sound, and we can’t wait to see where it will take them and how it will evolve further.
Standout Tracks: Heart Attack, Picturesque, Karma Climb, Kiss, Strawberry Lemonade, Vibe
For Fans Of: The Cure, Franz Ferdinand, Interpol, Kasabian
Written by: Florin Petrut