With a crunching of gears, Editors undertake another directional shift. Having leavened their trademark Joy Division/Echo & the Bunnymen post-punk guitar-rock sound with electronics on 2009′s UK No. 1 In This Light And On This Evening, this fourth album — and their first without founding guitarist Chris Urbanowicz — finds singer Tom Smith talking up the group’s move toward the sound of “American bands like R.E.M. and Arcade Fire.” He has a point, of sorts; the plangent strains of new guitarist Justin Lockey, formerly of Your Code Name Is: Milo, can recall Peter Buck’s mercurial six-string yearning on tracks like “Hyena,” while “Honesty” recalls Michael Stipe at his most cryptically melancholic. Yet long-term Editors fans should not fear that Americana has swallowed them whole; the band’s trademark neurotic, brittle edge remains intact on angst-ridden effusions such as “Sugar” and the malevolently pulsing “The Weight,” on an album that looks set to delight existing fans while pulling yet more devotees into their fold.
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