Posted by: nick
Post War Years are far too rare a proposition these days – a band that seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves on stage. They play with an energy I’ve only seen eclipsed by a formidable performance from The Mae Shi in recent months.
Tonight Post War Years have cause to celebrate. It’s the album launch for their debut long player ‘The Greats and The Happenings’ which they play start to finish tonight. I wonder whether they’ll ever do that again?
The album cover’s imperious white tiger looks out form the back of the stage, illuminated but obscured by the tall frame and ginger mop of Tom who stands before his arsenal of keys and samplers. From the first frantic beat of ‘The Red Room’, which kicks off the album and the set, it’s obvious that we’re watching a special drummer. Fred sits behind his kit, a man possessed, with an almost villain like grin across his face as he manoeuvres from one rhythm to the next.
The band have taken the math-rock sound of the like of Foals and added a bit of Holy Fuck-esque electro to the equation. Then throw in some three way blokey harmonies, perhaps best demonstrated on ‘Death March’ and it’s epic singalong chorus of,
‘There’s no air to shout, for the boy down south,
Let’s just take the line, we could lose our minds anyway, oh well’
And there you just about have their sound, it’s a big, upfront one beefed up by the appearance, more often than not, of two bass guitars courtesy of Simon and Henry and sometimes Tom. That’s a novel thing in itself. ‘Den’ doesn’t really grab me anywhere near as much as other mid paced number ‘Soul Owl’ which surprisingly turns out to be one of the set highlights. Its three way vocals and danceable beat slowed down to about as relaxed as Post War Years know how.
During the last five tracks the album and set tails off a little bit with the exception of ‘Tubular’. After an explosive opening seven songs, packing the sort of punch as track ‘White Lies’, there’s a risk of an anti climax. Thankfully any such risks are completely annihilated by a blistering encore version of ‘Black Morning’, arguably their best song. I’m unsure whether it’s a sign of confidence or inexperience that ‘Black Morning’ doesn’t make the album cut but it’s one hell of a track to have on the back burner. One thing I am sure of is that there’s a lot more to come from this talented young London band.
Oh and before I forget an honourable mention should be given to Tom for having an excellent Scotty Dog t-shirt. Well done!
For Fans Of: Foals, Holy Fuck, Three Trapped Tigers.
further reviews: Post War Years @ The Delancey, NYC. March 16th 09.