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Post War Years - The Greats And The Happenings

Post War Years

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

POST War Years’ The Greats And The Happenings is the sort of album you want to like more than you do.

Filled with danceable, other-worldly synth-beat driven sounds, the album never quite makes good on its early promise – despite coming close.

Songs have the habit of starting out well and losing their way, with the vocals – in particular – not complimenting the sounds that well.

Introduced in 2008 with their debut Black Morning EP on Chess Club (three songs that were described by BBC 6 as “a fizzing bombastic attack on the senses, with more bright ideas than most bands manage in a lifetime”), they have proceeded to win quite a few friends on the London club scene and continue to build a following.

Some of their music is very cool… and very enjoyable. But the album doesn’t hang together well in spite of some addictive beats and synth workouts.

Opening track The Red Room, for instance, kicks off amid some snappy hand-clap beats and a funky, jazz-inflicted bassline, but feels vocally strained – and not in a good way. The ethereal, edgy vocals don’t seem to match the pace of the instrumentation.

Likewise, Death March unfolds amid rolling drums and another good bassline groove, but the vocals once again are off-putting and leave you to wonder whether the album wouldn’t work better without the presence of a vocalist.

Occasionally, they get it right and the mix works out well. Former single Whole World On Its Head features one of the catchiest electronic loops on the LP, and a far better sung vocal.

Den, meanwhile, is sparse, ethereal and pretty cool, Soul Owl strangely magnetic (complete with the vaguest hint of a background owl’s howl), and Tubular cuts a funky strut that’s matched by some very Beta Band-styled vocals.

But the album just doesn’t find any consistency, with other tracks such as Latin Holiday and Ghost Door consistently failing to deliver on their early promise.

Post War Years have therefore created an album that’s high on curiosity value, but low on overall satisfaction. The singles kind of pick themselves.

Download picks: Whole World On Its Head, Den, Soul Owl

Track listing:

  1. The Red Room
  2. Death March
  3. Whole World On Its Head
  4. Den
  5. White Lies
  6. Red And Blue
  7. Soul Owl
  8. Shadows Fall
  9. Ghost Door
  10. False Starts
  11. Latin Holiday
  12. Tubular
  13. That’s All