Editors were not the only band suckling on Joy Division's bleak teat in 2005 when they released their debut The Back Room, and they never initially seemed the ones most likely to succeed either. They were like a pencil sketch of gothic depression, too tidy, too clean, too neatly attired to attain any lasting emotional credibility. But there was just one problem with that cursory diagnosis; the incendiary skinny-ribbed barrage of short, sharp, repetitive and achingly insistent singles, titled with an absolute maximum of two syllables as if to ram that point home. There was zero puppy fat on Editors' bones, but what they did carry was toned and worked to perfection. But even considering that discipline, the competent grandeur of its follow up, An End Has a Start, takes you aback. Awash with constellation-scraping omnipresence, opening track "Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors" seems all around you at once, building, lifting and frankly doing a better impression of late 80's U2-sized epic than Coldplay mustered on X&Y. The album rebounds between that sense of rounded, accessible awe and the more industrious pounding in the engine room that they perfected on their debut, the latter particularly demonstrable on the title track and a truly hammering "Escape the Nest". Tom Smith's rudimentary lyrics and forced baritone may lack some of the poetic depth that the music craves, but like their overall style he directs what he does possess with admirable precision.
-- James Berry