The Early Years are always the best.
When it comes to music, one of the most common feelings for fans is to like someone in the early years, before the rock n roll lifestyle hits them or the hunger and fire has ebbed away. Many acts may look back on their career and wish they had bowed out in the early years, making a great impression but not overstaying their welcome.
This may not be lost on The Early Years whose debut album arrived without much heralding or fanfare but has quickly burned into this reviewer's mind and ears. When researching a band on myspace and you see that Can and Neu! are in their top 4 friends, you know that with their influences the album could be a bit special, and certainly likely to be full of psychedelic Kraut-rock musings. It doesn't disappoint, in fact it's so much up this writer's street that the band may very well live on Andy Reilly Road.
Album opener 'All Ones And Zeroes' speeds like a bullet, its blistering guitar noodlings bouncing over the crashing drums, allowing the tempo and tension to build only to relieve itself with a shouted chorus and a superbly phased freak-out conclusion. That's only track one, and as the album then alternates between more blissed out space rock, stoner meanderings and the previously mentioned in your face style songs, its quality continues to shine.
It's not all based on a 1970s genre though, a lot of the vocals and guitar drive links back to the shoegazer era, with Ride and My Bloody Valentine overtones coming through noticeable. The vocals have a great intonation that blends in as another melody, adding to the measured chaos that is happening all around.
Obviously, these old band names that are influencing The Early Years may not be known too well by the readers, so some comparisons to Spiritualized's more challenging output or the rhythm section and ideas of The Beta Band, may help to contemporise opinions of The Early Years.
As an album, it's 'punch the air and let yourself go' in the manner it sets an unrelenting mood and hammers on. 'So Far Gone' is a classic, its chugging riff merging with the keyboard section and further muted vocals which again come to life later on, sweeping the listener along on a wave of jagging, frenetic emotions.
Even repeated listens fail to detract from the initial headrush feeling, with the track-listing generously spacing the different styles in a manner to not let the album become too much in one way or another. No doubt over time, you will start to order the album so you can have the quieter and trippier songs together and the charging high paced together but it works either, and can be used to suite your mood, whatever you feel best suits.
It's probably quite obvious that this album has greatly impressed, its playing and production is great but more importantly, it delivers in a genre that can be undervalued at times and should stand as one of the modern day's stronger outputs of the time. It's not for everyone but if there's a bedevilment in your heart and a liking of Krautrock, get this album snapped up as soon as possible.