Album review: Post War Years – ‘The Greats And The Happenings’

Complex, proggy sounds where the synths ain't rationed

Fresh from a world where Pears Cyclopaedias, symmetry and geometric shapes are still the new thang come Post War Years. More idiosyncratic than their moniker suggests, PWY have been ensconced in their east London ex-Russian warehouse/hairdressing salon (no, really) since forever, so it’s useful that ‘The Greats And The Happening’ greets us blinking like the jaded lights on an 808.

Yes, there are three vocalists on it, but all you need to know about that is that each of them (say hi to Henry, Simon and Tom) sound almost identical to each other, which is handy when you’re trying to peddle math/prog/synth rock where the real focus is on how splintery your guitar lines are and how effective your ‘pearl drop’ keyboard function is.

While it would be physically impossible to listen to this and not see images of Yannis Foals, Clor’s debut album or Barney Sumner circa ’83, there are also subtleties recalling Field Music and – cripes – even Wild Beasts. Do Post War Years know who those two bands are? Probably not, but the busyness in much of the melody trickling through ‘The Greats…’ resonates in the same inwardly camp and way-too-earnest way those bands do.

Only difference is that here, PWY toil the broth by emptying dose-upon-dose of dirty sucker-punch keys onto production nicked straight from ‘In Rainbows’. And that’s not all – ‘Red And Blue’, ‘Soul Owl’ and closer ‘That’s All’ prove that these boys love choruses as well as instruction manuals. “Got you in my sideline” they sing on the latter. And you should too have them in yours too, because ‘The Greats And The Happening’ proves Post War Years are worthy contenders.

Matt Wilkinson

More on this artist:
Post War Years NME Artist Page
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