Early last year, Editors rode into NYC on a jetstream of trans-Atlantic buzz, all but requiring faithful blogophiles’ presence to do their due diligence at Mercury Lounge, despite the somewhat lackluster studio incarnations of the debut’s tracks. A minute into that set, though, The Back Room was forgotten, replaced by a beast of a live band. Go home to play the CD for your roommate, and be left dumbfounded — again struck by Tom Smith’s plain take on Paul Banks (or Ian Curtis, however you wanted to play it). That’s been the rub with Editors, and those caught in the band’s lukewarm-record-kickass-concert conundrum are all ears for An End Has A Start, Editors’ forthcoming follow up.
The BBC’s Zane Lowe spun the record’s lead single “Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors,” and the radio rip isn’t encouraging. Where once Editors pushed their post-punk with a touch of shadow (“Munich,” “All Sparks,” “Bullets”), “Smokers” sees the band bypassing the shade, proceeding directly to guitars ringing from the Edge; Verse Two harmonies ala Chris Martin; and the incessant, downbeat crash cymbal bashing of every band trying to sound “big.” If that’s your thing, you’ll love it. If it’ll take more than mildly warmed over post-Coldplay arena rock to grab ya, it’s forgettable. Head to Deaf Indie Elephants for a listen.
[Pic from Editors set at Webster Hall 3/30/06.]