Beauty and the Beats column: Editors ‘Violence’ review

BB RATING: ★★★★

It’s been nearly 3 years since we last heard from moody Brum rockers Editors, writes DJ Becky B.

Despite the exciting release of their 6th studio album, Violence, it’s clear that they’re still refusing to cheer up.

Opening track ‘Cold’ hits us right in the E-spot; that small space in our brain specially reserved for the depressed lyrics and deep chords that we’ve come to know and love from Editors. It’s deliciously downbeat and does not disappoint.

“It’s deliciously downbeat”

This 9 song-long compilation has 2 phenomenal hits in particular that deserve your attention. The first is ‘Hallelujah (So Low)’, which takes on a much darker, heavier musical strand that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Muse album. Unsurprisingly, this certified headbanger has already enjoyed numerous radio plays. The other is closing song ‘Belong’. More on that later.

Singalong pop-rock anthems are packed aplenty into this EP, with title namesake ‘Violence’ and ‘Darkness at the Door’ sporting more upbeat, catchy indie choruses that I’m sure fans will be roaring along to on the next stadium tour. ‘Nothingness’ came as a pleasant surprise, aptly building up to a mildly thrashy track with contrasting, honeyed lyrics from lead singer Tom Smith drizzled over the top. Listen out for the smooth guitar solo near the end that perfectly plays off the 80s synths and drum kicks. Think Guns N’ Roses meets The Human League.

“Your patience will be greatly rewarded”

As you’d expect, the only downside is the relatively unchanging mood throughout. Yes, this is Editors’ trademark sound, but a pick up in tempo between soulful, poetic ballad ‘No Sound but the Wind’ and similarly dreary ‘Counting Spooks’ would have gone a long way in an album this brief. We, like Editors, begin to grow weary towards the end of the record.

But if you can hang in there for roughly 3 minutes on ‘Counting Spooks’, your patience will be greatly rewarded. I’d almost given up on the song when it suddenly diverged into a neat little beat that would make Prince and Bowie proud, with heavenly, lilting strings compelling us over and over to “Hold it together”. In a word, it’s glorious. If only they’d invented a snooze button for songs, so we could jump straight to the good stuff.

Yes, it’s a little slow in places, but there’s no disputing the fact that Editors finish off this accomplished album in spectacular fashion. As I mentioned before, closing track ‘Belong’ is worth the wait. Distorting echoes of an organ with soft bass, dramatic drums and a distinctive ticking noise, it sounds like it’s fresh off HBO’s critically-acclaimed Westworld soundtrack. Seriously, someone needs to contact Ramin Djawadi and tell him to include it in the next season. This song truly is the heartbeat of the album, and I applaud Editors for ending on a (reasonable) high. For this alone, I urge all of you to give this beautifully haunting album a whirl.

LISTEN IF YOU LIKE…

  • Muse
  • Alex Clare

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