All four members of Errors play synthesiser. Each of them plays a couple instruments to fill out the music; the standard guitar, bass and drums, but each member also plays some sort of synth. Honestly, finding that out that was enough to get me interested in hearing Have Some Faith in Magic, hoping to be greeted with a cacophony of electronic whirrs and buzzes. While that is exactly what I got, I found myself quite disappointed with the album. Only a few tracks got my attention, whereas the rest seemed to drown in the waves of fuzz of which they were formed. Be careful what you wish for, I suppose.
The first track of Have Some Faith in Magic, the thumping ‘Tusk’, starts off light and sparkly, like something played over a time lapse video of the universe expanding. It bursts open with a heavy guitar riff and morphs into a foreboding, rolling trip that pulses with energy between the speakers. It’s a very full and busy song, but Errors know what they’re doing with the array of synths at their disposal. Each one hums or sparkles or grinds along without suffocating the melody and overwhelming the brain with noise.
What ‘Tusk’ was missing was vocals, but after listening to the rest of the album, I found that this was probably why I felt it was the strongest track. All the vocals on Have Some Faith in Magic are overly distorted and drenched in so much reverb that it’s impossible to know what’s being said, which gets frustrating very quickly. They have discernible verses and choruses, but I couldn’t understand a single word. It made me feel like I was supposed to listen to the lyrics, but they wasn’t going to let me hear them. Within the powerful swells and drops of ‘Pleasure Places’, the vocals are almost completely blurred. They end up sounding like another instrument, another melody layered on the countless sheets of noise, and it works really well. It’s just unfortunate that this is the only track of the album where I enjoyed the vocals.
Other songs drift past without much acknowledgment apart from a few entertaining ideas along the way, most of which are influenced by nostalgia for ‘80s electronic music and possibly old video games too. ‘Earthscore’ could easily fit in with a collection of 16-bit SNES-era game theme tunes. In ‘Blank Media’, it sounds like Errors took all the ‘80s electronic clichés, the squelchy synth bass lines, echoed snare hits and slowly arpeggiating keyboards, then proceeded to force them through a broken Gameboy. They’re interesting, but they seem to get lost within the almost abrasive filter that is put over everything. After a while, the synthesisers just become grating. ‘The Knock’ churns drowsily, but doesn’t build up to anything. The pounding beat of ‘Cloud Chamber’ does nothing but repeat itself and again lacks any real conclusion. ‘Holus-Bolus’ picks the album up at the end. It’s a bold track that feels active and refreshing after the meandering mass of songs forming the bulk of Have Some Faith in Magic.
Errors haven’t made a bad album, but it’s just not as exciting as I would have hoped. I found myself listening to Have Some Faith in Magic as background music by accident. The songs started to sound a bit like static and I had to pull myself back in to pay closer attention. There are some great moments, but I’m not sure I will be revisiting this album very much in the future.
Rejected Obvious Review Title: Some magic, but a few errors too!