Errors have grafted real flesh to synthetic bone: this is the machine made man.
Mike Diver 2010-03-01
While their tongues are often lodged in cheeks – this second album's title is (surely) a chuckle-pun on a certain television show of a culinary slant – Glasgow four-piece Errors have only ever been straight-of-face when it’s come to delivering the musical goods. Welcoming, amiable individuals off stage, such steely focus on their chosen art is admirably stolid.
They could easily layer on the cheese and craft party-time hits for tonic wine-swilling types; that they’ve the ability to do so isn’t in doubt. But by refining their sound to incorporate as much krautrock-inspired economy as New York-indebted dance-gets-mathy overtones – think LCD Soundsystem’s silken sweeps harangued by an ego-trippin’ Battles fresh from crashing that absurdly towering ride cymbal – the band have carved a niche that, while narrow, is considerably deeper than expectations decreed.
If Errors’ last album, It’s Not Something but It Is Like Whatever, lacked anything it was a natural heart. Live they thrilled, interplay between members evident and evoking a joyous response, a relief of sorts, from those before them; but on record, curtains closed, picturing the process to conjure these songs proved tough. Much seemed to be a case of dots and dashes, numbers and codes. It felt cold, clinical, but not here: where once they chattered like robots, Errors have grafted real flesh to synthetic bone, threaded veins through tissue and grown a skin that isn’t so thick that admirers can’t glimpse the inner-workings. This is the machine made man.
Part of being human is the need for R’n’R of a put-your-guitars-down variety: rest and recuperation. Come Down With Me, while never plumbing peculiarly clichéd depths of introspective immersion, does stall its rapid step on occasion to allow both actors and audience a little breather. The splendid opening trio of Bridge or Cloud?, A Rumour in Africa and Supertribe – all fizzy synths and stuttering electric plucks, sticks-on-skins lending additional bombast to already pulsating circuit-boards and squelching keys – subsides for one such diversion into downbeat territory, Antipode. More akin to a slowed sojourn from Rock Action label-masters Mogwai, the track’s placement presents an opportunity for reflection: on how far Errors have come, and where they go next.
In the immediacy: through more of the enjoyable same, ‘til dreamy closer Beards. After this, well, such is their newly appreciable organic approach that album three could be the cheery wave to stranded hipsters to end all such cheeky salutations.