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The Early Years Reviewed

| January 31, 2007 | 1 Comment

The Early Years
The Early Years
(Beggars Banquet)

With a built-in title for a debut album, the name of this London-based trio could reference a number of things: 1) a preemptive apology for soft spots in their songs, 2) a reference to what the band members were listening to at formative ages, or 3) a History Channel-style dramatization, specifically highlighting The Velvet Underground and the seeds of art rock.

For all the Doppler-like effects and guitar symphonies on their first outing, The Early Years are pretty straightforward. Made to sound distant with a dash of echo on his vocals David Malkinson keeps his lyrics to a minimum, which only serves to underline their importance. Relentless Krautrock drums keep their stoic demeanor even as “The Simple Solution” comes apart at the seems in a Sonic Youth-ish cacophony. The nearly barren “Brown Hearts” slips through with a subtle dynamism, though (and it’s only the fourth track) the pattern of verse-chorus-verse-chorus-freakout seems to have been set a little too early. (“High Times And Low Lives” is an exception — it freaks out, stops, then comes back for an encore.) If you can ignore that crutch — and the streaking “So Far Gone” superbly aids in that — you won’t care what year it is.

7

— Steve Forstneger

Category: Spins, Weekly

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  1. Netbob says:

    This is one fine album. I started watching these guys on YouTube and never stopped until I had all their stuff. I have heard that they are a combination of Snow Patrol, Coldplay and Mogwai but I think they have the potential to be better.

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