No yawns included.
The opening track, 'Say What I Want To' does beg the question: what did he say? Damn it, you're saying you said what you wanted, but man, what did you say in the first place?!
The second track takes a while to get going, but the slow rise is certainly worth it, as a Doves-meets-Elbow-in-a-spirtual-bliss feeling rises, cruising on with a sense of journey and a belonging that can only be attached to living out on the road. Maybe the guys are a great, hardworking road act and this is the reason as to why their memorable name stirs something within (or maybe it's a reference to a dodgy 80's television show?). Whatever it is, The Early Years are effortlessly nice and simple, with a love for letting the vibes brew and simmer for minutes on end, until the eventual and oh-so-gentle crescendo of vocal, drum, or whatever they choose as the temporary vehicle is fully appreciated and brought over the edge.
The technique of taking the listener by the hand is clearly not a conscious choice from the band, nor is it something spelled out to the open ears ('we're going to go to an upbeat chorus.... Now!'). It just IS. And as a result, there is something quite endearing about them that helps you put your guard down and think, fair enough, I will let them muddle on. They seem to know what they're doing, so you can leave them to it and rest assured that the jam session will come together to produce an actual piece.
Take the fourth and final track of this E.P. offering. For the final showdown, there is a meditative umm-ing and ahh-ing between keys, guitar feedback and god knows what else that lasts for longer than most would dare... Sure, it's something that we see time and time again in albums that either require a breather or maybe have even run out of inspiration, but here, on 'The Great Awakening', we have a purpose. This final track is surely something you would never dare go out of your way to play in a set, and maybe it's even a mess around in the studio that the guys fell in love with when they were fucked off their heads on exotic nicieties. But whatever. We don't care.
If you were boarding a train into the urban decay, or maybe saying goodbye to a sweetheart long doomed and now torn to shreds, you might want to look into this release, and put it on in the background. It may ease the pain.