Errors surfaced halfway through the past decade on Mogwai's label Rock Action Records. Under the wings of the Glasgow band, on their previous efforts they have always exercised a very stimulating brand of post-rock. But it would be unfair to tag them as a post-rock band. Even on their first album, it was already obvious they're open to anything, with a very fresh and open-minded view on the genre, and incorporating influences from cyberdelia and synthetic pop. Their second album, “Come Down With Me”, was a versatile piece of work with even more influences: Fuck Buttons, Tortoise, Battles, !!! and the like. But in spite of their courage, you got the impression they lacked something to achieve the magic of the artists mentioned. So it's hardly surprising they're selling us “Have Some Faith In Magic” as the biggest change in sound of their career.
Let's start with the most obvious change. As a band rooted in post-rock (even though, as said, they've never been pure post-rock), Errors hardly ever added any vocals to their tracks. That has changed completely. Steve Livingstone has taken the task upon himself, and according to him it has been a natural process, in spite of the shock it might mean to many. An example of this new feature is the first single off of the LP, the brilliant “Pleasure Palaces”, or: how to get Cut Copy, Delorean and Washed Out (Livingstone sounds as blurry and processed as Ernest Greene) together in one room. It's pure dance music, its anthem-like electronic pop taking over from “Supertribe” as their biggest potential hit so far. “Cloud Chamber” and “Barton Spring” are cut according to a similar chill-wave pattern, although not quite as successfully.
“Tusk” embraces the kind of progressive rock Justice have turned to on their second album. In fact, that prog quality that has followed them over the length of their career is another praiseworthy feature here. The songs roll out slowly and over many minutes. “Magna Encarta” parts from a cosmic introduction - where Kraftwerk and Orbital unite - in order to navigate to some fragile math-rock rhythms. Errors think of structure and evolution in general terms. “The Knock”, followed by “Canon”, serve as an attractive and calm interlude; allowing us to recover after the blow of “Pleasure Palaces” and take on the left hook that is “Earthscore” with more security. The piece features aggressive and tribal percussion by James Hamilton, oriental strings and Gregorian choirs. It's something like their version of “Sun God” (Cut Copy), i.e. the most devastating track of the lot, but in a low-cost form. Finally, the closing track “Hocus-Bolus”, reminiscent of Fuck Buttons, is exactly that: an appropriate epilogue, not just a simple song at the end of the tracklist.
Unfortunately, they don't always use the lengths of the tracks to take us to unexpected territories ( “Blank Media” is too monotonous, not to mention the sickly-sweet keyboards) and they make the same mistakes as on their previous LP. Nobody can deny the courage of “Have Some Faith In Magic” - a melting pot of everything - but what they're trying to achieve has been done by other bands before them, and better. They still lack that little something to become truly great.