It’s always difficult to start a review when someone has done the job for you. The Press Release for “Here Are The Roses” starts with a quote from The Guardian that compares Dragons to Editors and Joy Division. Spot on - well done that man - 10 points. So what am I supposed to do? How about tell you whether this combination works?

Opening title track “Here Are The Roses” is very much the example to lead by. It’s half-spoken, half-sung and has that wibbly 80s electro thing in the background. Coming to think of it, most of Dragons’ tracks do – maybe this is why they get compared to Joy Division and Depeche Mode so much….

It’s an odd one, this. Every track on the album could conceivably have been written and released in the 80’s, but there’s something that makes it obviously a new release. The factor that comes to mind is that the band knows where to stop. They don’t keep layering on more effects and instruments – it’s actually quite stripped back, with the gaps filled by electronic orchestral noises.

“Treasure”, for example, is almost a power ballad, while “Obedience” has echoes of early Manic Street Preachers in the chorus. Closing track “Forever” also has this feeling, but by this stage it’s lost its momentum a bit.

The problem is, “Here Are The Roses” is one of those albums that starts strong, then feels like the last few tracks have been added on to make up the running time. It shifts strongly from energetic electro-rock to plodding, methodical introspection and, to be honest, I began to lose interest. If you could fold the album in half and copy the energy from the first half into the second, this would be brilliant. Unfortunately, it gets let down and becomes a bit mediocre. Probably best to buy the first 6 or 7 tracks, make your own album and save a few pennies.

Simon Middleyard