'The Greats and the Happenings'
Released on 18 May 2009 on Wealth
Post War Years, four natives of Leamington Spa, have been quietly honing their trade since their relocation to London. After a couple of promising singles, 2009 heralds the arrival of their debut album, `The Greats and the Happenings`.
Opener ‘The Red Room’ is a juddering electronic beast, hauled along by a commanding bass line and augmented with discordant synth blasts. This is a fine example of all that is commendable about the album - experimental, innovative and convincing. Slightly more pop-infused songs like `Whole World on Its Head` are certainly more accessible, and would have sounded wholly refreshing a few years ago. Sadly, this is 2009 and thus these songs sound more than a little derivative, evoking modern-day alternative indie behemoths like Hot Chip, Foals and Vampire Weekend.
However, Post War Years have a lot more up their sleeves. The more balled-esque efforts ‘Den’ and ‘That’s All’ are a master class in understatement, and among the strongest moments on the album. Meanwhile tracks like ‘Red and Blue’ lend a more tenacious edge, bass-heavy tunes infused with irresistible melodies and skittering drum loops. Indeed, Post War Years have honed a sound slightly reminiscent of 21st Century Radiohead, albeit with a more mainstream indie lilt.
At times this is an album not entirely comfortable in its own skin leading to unnecessary indulgences like the superfluous `Ghost Door`. However, essentially this is a persuasive flurry of twitchy, off-kilter drumbeats, warm synths and lovely melodies formed into a clutch of good songs. Post War Years have created a promising record and, if their live performances can add another dimension, they could well go stratospheric.
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