Errors — ‘New Relics’

1349103548_coverErrors have released this record to round off what has been, by all accounts, a pretty decent year for the Mogwai-backed Glaswegians. It began with the well received Have Some Faith in Magic album, which had many calling it their most fully realised record to date. So here we are with a second set of tracks in the same calendar year, and unfortunately it is mostly an underwhelming piece of work that only occasionally shines.

The main problem with a band like Errors is their template; minimal, spacey 80s-style high-end but brooding synthesizer that’s been brought back into vogue recently (with the majority of it being not particularly good). Lest we forget, this sort of thing was also being done some thirty years ago by groups such as Depeche Mode, Tears For Fears, and Simple Minds.

Errors do bring along new elements (as one would only expect them to), particularly in the samples and effected vocals, but in the main there is not much here that you have not heard already. About a million times. You see it worked in the early-80s, it was a new sound and it made sense, but in 2012 this writer just isn’t getting it much at all.

As for New Relics – a mini album consisting of 8 songs – it kicks off with ‘Engine Homes’, which is done Bladerunner style, and one immediately assumes that Errors have also been checking out Kuedo’s Severant record from last year. ‘Granghaven’ is similar, also sounding like it would fit right into a Simple Minds LP circa 1983. This is a sound present throughout most of New Relics, with the band only occasionally adding inaudible vocals, sometimes of the male, others the female variety. If you have ever listened to an Errors album before then you will know the drill.

The second half of ‘Ammoboa Glass’ picks things up, with its rather fine change of direction, while also sounding like Battles are knocking on the door wanting to get in. ‘Relics’ is more music perfect  for an early-80s sci-fi movie (or possibly even a remake), while ‘Gros-Bon-Ange’ is a most welcome change of tack, where Errors display their more offcut and experimental side, while also possibly a place where they could head for future releases. The only downside being the fact that it’s so brief, clocking in at under two-minutes.

Where do Errors need to go from here? While not completely back to the drawing board, they currently sound like a band in need of more fun, more experimentation. It almost sounds daft, but, got any guitars knocking about the studio, chaps?

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