Errors – Lease of Life (4 stars)

Continued, open-minded listening is the least this fine record deserves

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Errors – Lease of Life

The point of departure between the old Errors and the new Errors came in 2012, when the Glasgow-based quartet slimmed down to a trio. The difference between both incarnations was made plain by contrasting that year’s duo of releases, the third album Have Some Faith in Magic and the mini-album New Relics. The latter was more urgent, more clubby, less afraid to truly impose itself. That ethos and aesthetic continues to this first full release from the new-model Errors, a record which delights in both its lack of fear in referencing the past and the surprising new directions it takes the listener in.

It begins in resolute but unlikely style, a torpid beat and a wash of pan pipes ushering us into ‘Colossal Estates’, a song which eventually builds up to strident marching pace alongside chopped up female vocals which convey a clear rhythm. This time out, Steev Livingstone, Simon Ward (read our interview with Ward) and James Hamilton have enlisted the support of backing vocalists Cecilia Stamp and Bek Oliva (Magic Eye), and their frequent contributions enhance the record. In particular, the Stereolab-like effect on ‘Dull Care’s electro-symphony and ‘Putman Caraibe’s irresistible, meaty-synthed 80s throwback vindicate the decision to bring these new voices in and soften the techy grind.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. By the second song Lease of Life should have won you over, with the title track’s looping, searching beats evoking a less macho Underworld, particularly when that male falsetto vocal swoops in. ‘Slow Rotor’ rings with a dreamy blend of Europop and Balearic tin drum clatter, a sound not unlike that used on Primal Scream’s ‘Higher Than the Sun’. ‘Early Nights’, by contrast, is a narcotic miasma of ambient music of the kind The Orb might have experimented with two decades ago.

In ‘Genuflection’ there are strains of chill-out acid house, and in ‘Through the Knowledge of Those Who Observe Us’ a summation of all that has gone before, from Kraftwerk to Tangerine Dream to Detroit techno, all reined in and kept steady by a 20-piece choir. Whether any of it translates to the dancefloor or not is a moot point, for continued, open-minded listening is the least this fine record deserves.

Errors play The Cluny, Newcastle, Thu 26 Mar; The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, Fri 10 Apr and The Art School, Glasgow, Sat 11 Apr. The new album Lease of Life is out on Rock Action on Mon 23 Mar.

Errors – Slow Rotor

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