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The Back Room


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Album Review

Before issuing their debut, The Back Room, in August 2005, Editors were immediately compared to the dark, brooding sounds of Interpol as well as the post-punk brashness of Echo & the Bunnymen. Singles such as "Blood" and "Bullets" quickly put Editors in the elite crowd of those to watch that year. The band — Tom Smith (vocals/guitar), Chris Urbanowicz (guitar), Russell Leetch (bass), and Ed Lay (drums) — compose a tight rock sound that's both raw and defined, particularly on album opener "Lights." Editors are an anxious, frantic, and passionate group, and the album is done with taste from the start. Smith is vocally passionate without being too steely, unlike Interpol frontman Paul Banks, as he exclaims, "I've got a million things to say," while his bandmates add to the song's rushing intensity. From there, the blistering "Munich" and the more luxurious, danceable "Blood" are the standout moments of this 11-song set. "Munich" is one of The Back Room's especially stylish numbers, thanks to the matching guitar work of both Smith and Urbanowicz. The surging storm that is "Bullets" is further proof that from the first note, The Back Room lunges at you with a dynamic that's fierce, wiry, and slightly fashionable. Alternative rock hasn't seen anything like this since the release of Turn on the Bright Lights.

Customer Reviews

album of the year

most would say i've earned my place in british music but i have to admit for a debut record this is totally fab! editors comand my respect....and have it.

Great Music

Editors are a great band. They sound a lot like Interpol. His voice is much more natural than the lead singer of Interpol (Paul Banks). Munich, Blood, Bullets, Fingers In the Factory and Let Your Heart Lead You Home are my favourite songs on this album. Any one who likes Interpol or Indie Rock should definitely buy this music, you won't regret it.

Highly Recommended

Editors' debut release, The Back Room, is a rare gem: on its own, it stands up as a brilliant record; even more remarkable is that it does so even with strong comparisions being brought against it.  The Back Room is one of those mercurial albums that is not only consistent, but consistently *good*. Here, every song deserves equal recommendation. Sure, there are tracks that stand shoulders above the rest -- "Blood", "Bullets", "All Sparks" and "Let Your Good Heart..." -- but it's difficult to single any one song out as being "weak". Instead we have a haunting, rocking, thoughtful and sincere set of tunes that never lose their way.  Casual listeners will likely remark on the similarity of Editors to Interpol and Joy Division especially, but beneath that sonic impression, Editors prove that they are no immitation. Like Interpol, their music stands up on its own -- as this album ably demonstrates. (It's also worth noting that the iTunes release of The Back Room is the same as the Australian release, expanding on the original UK release by throwing the Cuttings EP into the mix. Bonus tracks come in the form of "Let Your Good Heart Lead You Home" and "You Are Fading".)


Formed: 2002 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Formed in 2003, Editors became one of the leading bands in the post-punk revival that swept America and England in the early 21st century. Originally dubbed Snowfield, the group comprised four music technology students from Stafford University — singer/guitarist Tom Smith, lead guitarist Chris Urbanowicz, bassist Russell Leetch, and drummer Ed Lay — all of whom had relocated to Birmingham after graduation. A series of a well-received club dates and demo recordings earned...
Full Bio