Editors – EBM

Ambitious, theatrical and utterly brilliant...

Editors are no strangers when it comes to risk taking and genre bending and their seventh album ‘EBM’ is the true personification of this ethos. However, this might be Editors’ most leftfield and experimental body of work to date.

‘EBM’ is the first album with new band member Benjamin John Power, aka Blanck Mass and the name of the album is an acronym of Editors and Blanck Mass, but is also a reference to Electronic Body Music.

Taking inspiration from Nitzer Ebb, Front 242 and Skinny Puppy, EBM is a visionary and sonic adventure playing tribute to both industrial rock and electronic dance music. But, you can also hear traces of Rammstein, Depeche Mode and The Cure’s earlier material throughout the album too.

Unrelenting, hedonistic, wildly oscillating and at times feverish, EBM connects with both the physical and the emotional. There’s wild, visceral and heart-stopping moments that nestle in with the more emotive and tender moments, but at the heart of it is the need for human connection – physical, emotional and spiritual.

It’s also about getting lost in music, dancing, and getting lost in each other and letting go of what’s happening in the world and ultimately what people think of you. This unyielding approach is evident throughout the nine tracks of ‘EBM’ which a nod to the genre that is front and centre to their seventh and most progressive album to date. 

Editors – EBM

From the dancehall vibes of the atmospheric ‘Karma Climb’ through to the album closer ‘Strange Intimacy’ which talks of a bleak ending of a relationship “strange intimacy / this party is over / let the rain pour down on me” feels like the lovechild of Depeche Mode and the Pet Shop Boys. ‘EBM’, track for track, is ambitious, theatrical and utterly brilliant. 

‘EBM’ became a reason for the band to lose themselves in the creative process during the pandemic which is referenced in ‘Strawberry Lemonade’, it also eludes to how as a nation that we are now more divided than ever coming out of the pandemic: “Can you feel the broken nation?” Its unabated percussive sound hits you right at the back of your head and is a driving, tour de force that is anthemic and rousing. ‘Kiss’ is a stellar standout that sounds like the ultimate aural coadunation of the aforementioned Nitzer Ebb, Donna Summer and New Order.

‘EBM’ is full of stadium-ready anthems and is a riveting, celebratory and bold musical odyssey that is both glorious and gritty in equal measure.

8/10

Words: Emma Harrison

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