The Early Years

By - Feb 1st, 2007 02:52 pm

Already in play to sell Nike shoes, the single “All Ones & Zeros” gets The Early Years’ debut out of the blocks at lightning speed; but it’s false advertising for the record as a whole. Although the intro song is a propelling dash, what follows lacks similar kinetic force. Intentionally.

This three-piece, comprised of a drummer and pedal-happy guitar duo, adamantly refuse to chase after the skinny-tie, post-punk revivalist trend. Instead of worshipping Gang of Four, the self-proclaimed “experimental” band cite Neu!, Television and Mogwai as influences. If experimental means ambience, feedback and droning, and the preceding bands were reputably boring and uninventive, then these guys are spot on.

The Early Years sound more confident when they aren’t trying so hard. The majority of songs, including the utterly beige “Brown Hearts,” are like a game of hot/cold (getting warmer…even warmer… ). The musicians find direction as the tracks count down, leaving questions as to how much improvisation they employed while recording.

Likewise, the last two and a half minutes of “High Times And Low Lives” show potential and should have been the project’s starting line. Here, parts move – the darling avant-garde electronics live rightfully among the twangy guitar and incisive percussion. Regrettably, the disc’s closers, though pretty, deflate any remaining hope of resurrecting the buzz.

The Early Years live up to their name; they play a diluted imitation of art rock’s early years, contributing little more than better technology. They’re on the heels of something good, but until their sophomore release, why buy a knock-off when you can just as easily listen to the real thing? VS

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