Tuesday 28 February 2012

Errors - Have Some Faith In Magic

Album review by James M

You have to feel for Errors. Any new band starting out will tell you that as much as they want to pay their own way, having a few contacts wouldn’t go amiss. Sure, now three albums in and playing hundreds of gigs worldwide they’ve more than earned their respect the right way. However, certain comparisons seem to regurgitate around just about anything they do. Being the favourite child of Mogwai who are the founders of Rock Action Records, Errors were always going to be living in the shadows of their Glaswegian peers. Yet when stepping from the shade and into the daylight, anybody who had taken time to actually listen to the band would have realised this is far from the truth. The tempo of most of the songs wouldn’t sound out of place on a post-rock record, that’s true. The way the songs build up, before breaking into a plethora of beauty is another trait familiar with that genre. Call me unconventional, but as the opening track on their debut album, 2008’s wonderful ‘It’s Not Something But It Is Like Whatever’ suggests – this is dance music - something the bandwagon jumpers seem to have forgotten.

After an abrasive guitar and drum duel has commenced, we’re reminded of just that, as not longer than a minute into opener ‘Tusk’ the band's keyboarding duo have us searching for our dancing shoes. As the title suggests ‘Magna Encarta’ follows suit with all things electronica. The added ingredient not just here, but on a big portion of this album is the vocal element. Like dreampop and shoegaze before them, they seem to incorporate vocals into the mix, leaving the listener without any understanding of what they’re saying. Instead using it as more of a tool, an added instrument into the fray, and they pull it off just as well as all who have tried before them. ‘Blank Media’ is the best example of this, a trippy journey in which a faint voice hazes in and out consciousness, whilst the song steadily gets louder and louder before a blissful climax. If people were still doubting the band's credentials to get you moving then they really need to look no further than ‘Pleasure Palaces’. Recently decided as the next promo single, if put into the right hands the band could certainly fill a few fields with pleasure at festivals this summer as their sound reaches epic proportions.

As the dust settles over the party season and as the album draws nearer to a close, ‘Cloud Chamber’ creeps in with its faint, melancholic touch showing there is a quieter side to this record. ‘Barton Spring’ follows the theme, a slow, industrial sounding, yet beautiful interlude before the lights are turned back on and we’re told to get back on the dance floor one more time. Artists tend to leave the last track on their work for something a bit special and we aren’t going to be let down this time. If you were short on time and needed 2 words to sum up Errors then ‘Holus-Bolus’ would be a good choice. The finale absorbs everything else from the album into five and a half minutes of alluring artistry. The pristine drum beats, the bewitching keys, the noisy middle sections, right through to the attention they pay to finishing a song off.

Choosing a highlight on an Errors album is almost as difficult as summing up the bands sound itself. There’s so much going on that it certainly isn’t something you can become a huge fan of in two or three listens. It’s definitely something you can enjoy, yet even ten plays in you’re always finding something new, something hidden into the mix. This may be why despite their potential, and as contradicting as my high opinions go, they haven’t found themselves attracting the attention they deserve. That isn’t a bad thing of course, if anything they are miles ahead of similar artists who have a guitar background but are plotting their way into the hearts of electronic music enthusiasts. It is an album that gets better with every listen and if you give it enough time you won’t be disappointed. Hopefully this time around they have done enough to stop any nonsensical comparisons, but don’t hold your breathe.

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