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The Early Years

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Album Review

On their self-titled debut, the Early Years sift through the finer moments of early-'90s shoegaze and alternative rock with an added dash of '60s proto-punk for an impressively structured introduction. While bands such as Serena Maneesh and the Black Angels are much more aggressive with their guitar-driven approach, the Early Years' talent lies in their cohesive touch. Dave Malkinson's sandy-eyed vocals perfectly mesh with the band's gossamer guitar layers, allowing the Early Years' overall lushness to arrive without hesitation. "The Simple Solution" and "All Ones and Zeros" are both totally solid, each doused in anthemic appeal with droning guitars, but credit must be given to drummer Phil Raines. His quick-stepped performance throughout this ten-song set keeps the Early Years' atmospheric modern rock storm in line (check out the lilting beauty of "Brown Hearts"). But as soon as the Early Years get into a groove, leave it to the quintessential ballad ("Song for Elizabeth") to put a kink in things. Instrumental track "Musik der Frühen Jahre" tries to rectify the hasty switch in moods, but it's the reverb-heavy burn of "So Far Gone" that saves the momentum, further showcasing the promise of the Early Years. They might not reach too far this time out, but they're onto something good here. [The expanded U.S. version includes a bonus disc, complete with four unreleased tracks and videos for "All Ones and Zeros" and "So Far Gone."]


Formed: 2004 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

London, England's the Early Years feature David Malkinson (vocals/guitar), Roger Mackin (guitar), and Phil Raines (drums). Equipped with an amp, an electric guitar, and an assortment of effect pedals, Malkinson needed only a random one-off solo gig as the impetus to gather together his two friends -- Mackin and Raines -- to form the Early Years in 2004. Before long, the band's demo landed in the hands of BBC Radio 1 host Steve Lamacq. Both Lamacq and XFM's John Kennedy championed the Early Years'...
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The Early Years, The Early Years
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