Kitchenware - 2005 - 42 minutes

Sometimes there are records that you end up liking despite your best attempts not to - that Maroon 5 single, Spandau Ballet's 'True', anything involving Justin Timberlake. Editors are a far more sublime proposition, but that feeling of battling against yourself lasts for the duration of 'The Back Room'.

For anyone over the age of 40 this album could take a bit of getting used to, such is the debt owed to the great bands that soundtracked their younger lives. And those of us who've picked up those late 1970s and early 1980s records retrospectively might also feel the need to get offended on their behalf.

But while Editors' take on Northern gloom is, to put it mildly, familiar, they do have the talent to write an album that, one track aside, is convincing from start to finish. It's only on 'Camera' midway through that singer Tom Smith really loses the run of himself - his Ian Curtis-like vocals so over-the-top that they'd make a goth laugh. Elsewhere, this album is sharp, moody and boasts a great production from the aptly-named Jim Abbiss.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Editors guitarist Chris Urbanowicz said one of his band's main aims was to make credible, dark pop songs. They've succeeded in some style, but they now need to adjust their sights higher and find an identity of their own.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Lights - Munich - Blood - Fall - All Sparks - Camera - Fingers in the Factories - Bullets - Someone Says - Open Your Arms - Distance