I knew An End Has a Start was going to be amazing from the very start. The album opener, "Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors" is a unique song that resembles Joy Division and, I'll admit, Interpol. In "Smokers..." there is one particular point in the song that strikes me: a short interlude of singer Tom Smith's deep vocals segueing into heavy drums and a singing choir. With the choir singing, Smith's voice cuts back into the song. Great stuff. "An End Has A Start" is a catchy song, especially with the cool guitar effects and distortion. "Bones" isn't all that different in that department, either. It's upbeat, yet dark -- the benchmark of '80s post-punk. Danceable? Yes, very. "When Anger Shows" features Smith's slow and powerful voice accompanied by a forceful variety of instruments. But right when you thought the song was going to stay slow, it picks up only to slow down again in the second verse. "The Racing Rats," perhaps made famous on the Étudiant from Ben Tan's eclectic cover, is hard to describe. All I can think of is the light show during the live performance of this song I saw at the Orpheum last January. It was truly something special. "Escape the Nest" deserves a lot of respect. I often overlook it when listening to this album, but it's got this certain characteristic. It's definitely the guitar. It's glooooomy. Overall, An End Has a Start is quality. It's too bad though: not all the songs were as epic as the ones I described.
Grade: 8.5 out of 10