The current English guitar band style is, broadly-speaking, to be angular and anguished - and always anthemic - this period style starting with Radiohead, moving to Coldplay, and then erupting in a variety of bands like Franz Ferdinand, Snow Patrol, and now Editors. This English Line of moody, introspective, yet ringing bands is perhaps inspired by U2 (though often borrowing heavily from great unsung Simple Minds).
The new album under discussion here, is ten songs that each lay claim to being stirring and existential. Most are about air disasters, imminent death of loved ones and one's self, and the general morbidity of late capitalist society. The songs are propelled by dramatic drums and churning guitars, and the vocals ache with solemn - if somewhat neurotic - suffering ("I need you to tell me it's okay"). Teenagers everywhere will enjoy these songs while reading Ecce Homo. I admire the seriousness, even the portentousness, of this work. It is just right for the Brown Age of wicked NHS criminals intent on blowing young female dancers in night-clubs to decadent bits. It has the grandeur and tedium of the age down pat, if not its inconsequential inanity.
Is it a great album? No. But it seeks to plant the seed of a heart in very dark ground. Perhaps even consecrated ground. It may be a grower. "Bones", the fourth track, is already sounding better, as is the fifth, "When Anger Shows". Something sad-tender is rubbing against the world's contemporaneous terrors to start a fire, make a noise.
Eyewear gives it four specs.