The Early Years
Finally a band who aren't afraid to make long songs. All too often these days a song will suggest that it has ended too soon and could really do with a good 5 minutes more in the oven. This debut album from London's The Early Years seems to go some way to satisfy me in the length department and if you talk to all my friends they'll tell you that's important.
I say 'some way' because these songs arent all long, none of them are less than 4 minutes, there's a 6.3 and an 8.4, but the thing to mention here is that they all feel long. Some of the greatest songs ever made in my opinion (for 'opinion read 'fact') have the same formula. They are epic, they change pace and they never end where they started. Stairway To Heaven, Paranoid Android, Bohemian Rhapsody, I Am The Resurrection, Free Bird to name but a few all follow this structure and although there is nothing on The Early Years that comes close to these they certainly have the right idea.
Their songs are often the musical equivalent of the average life-cycle of a person. Take High Times And Low Lives for example. It starts with an almost embryonic, blissed out ambient whisper, takes its time to build to maturity to peak at mid point on a crashing cymbal and guitar majesty. It then calms down for a while then starts to gallop again towards the end and quickly gains a glorious running pace. As with a lot of people, many of the songs threaten to end but seem to hang on to life until they feel it's time to go, and only then do they gracefully fade away to silence. The reason for this is obviously their eclectic source of influences. The band cite bands such as Spiritualised, Tortoise, Elevator's, The Velvet Underground and Neu! as source points and that more than explains their ability to handle ambient noise, motorik beats, drones, feedback and melody all in the same song.
The Early Years are a 3 piece which is hard to believe once you have heard their sound. They create the grandeur of at least 5 musicians. They can do heart wrenching ballads, epic swells and they can certainly rock when they want to. They seem to have everything and although there are a few less than exceptional moments this debut suggest greatness.