Friday, 30 January 2009

artist: post war years

Guitar bands with keyboards. It's easy enough to make comparisons and links between the likes of _______, _______, _____. You know the ones on the tip of your tongue when you talk about these kind of bands, they are easily bracketed together. I mean yes they are similar, but only similar in the same way that I am similar to the person sitting opposite me. There is a world of difference.

People need reference points and the aforementioned are easy routes in. Easy routes in not just for the listener, but also for the people that market everything. It cuts both ways. Try not to listen to the reference points if you know those bands well, because it will cloud your mind a little. There is a world of difference out there.

Post War Years have been bubbling away for quite a while now and look well positioned. Debut single Black Morning came out last year on Chess Club, imprint of chart-topping buddies, White Lies. Along with the accompanying flip-side, You and Me, it gives a good account of the structured mish-mash that is their sound. I can't place them, my feeble mind wanting to make the easy comparison after writing article after article just can't do it. Structure and constant deviation are the concepts that spring to mind. There is a lot going on sonically speaking.

It's only when you listen to their new single over on myspace, Whole World On Its Head, that you get the impression that things are starting to fall into place, and I'm not talking about record deals or tours or anything. It's more focused. A marshmallow soft synth line opens proceedings fluttering in and out intermittently (currently the part I dig the most). A languid and lazy vocal enters floating perfectly above a combination of live and programmed percussion (it's all live, my bad) to make your ears and dancing sneakers prick up immediately. A euphoric layered chorus to work its way into the part of your brain where all the catchy songs reside. Keyboard clutter and guitar lines melding everything together into a prickly fuzz. I can't say anymore without seeing it live, because thinking about it makes my brain hurt a little. It's clearly the best thing they've done to date, and makes me want to listen to their other stuff more to see if my ears missed something the first time round.

Over here on shattered satellite, we have the b-side for you, Flames Like Tinder. The subdued partner to the paranoid jubilation of the A-side (which we aren't authorised to post. fair enough, people have to eat). Insistent vocals battling it out over juddering guitar lines, repeating in a manner that evokes Hot Chip but not quite so synthetic. Perhaps that's the deal with Post War Years, electronic marks are all over their tunes, but there's palpable emotion and soft subtleties in there that others lack.

Post War Years - Flames Like Tinder

Post War Years - Black Morning

The single is out on limited vinyl via White Lies and their Chess Club on 09.03.09. They tell me a video is on the way. It will probably tear up the charts when its re-released in 2010. Okay, that might not actually happen, but it does seem to be the trend. Also a Live 10" on Late of the Pier / EMI / Parlophone imprint, Zarcorp. Album is being produced by Graeme Stewart, a presence behind the decks for the likes of Radiohead (In Rainbows & Kid A no less), Shola Ama and Glamma Kid. I'm excited. Not kidding.


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