I wrote this for another website, but it’s been a while and it looks like they’ve no real intention of posting it. I was asked to review Post War years and not the band they were supporting (Answering Machine), so I though rather than it get lost in a mix of e-mails or whatever, it was best to post it here:
Being in a band often isn’t glamorous. Though we’d all like to think that it’s simply drinking, drugs and groupies, it’s most certainly not like that for most artists. Of course, Motley Crue can all demand their own tour buses for their comeback tours and U2 can spend the gross national product of several small nations on the apparatus for their show, there are people like Jeffrey Lewis, touring relentlessly in order to keep going. Then there are those like Post War Years.
Despite the fact that the band are yet to put out an album, they’ve recently returned from foreign shores. Though most bands can only dream of reaching out to Europe, the best band to come out of Lemington Spa took it one further with a sojourn to Dubai. Away from one crumbling, decadent, debt ravaged economy and back to another, the band returned to the UK to play a variety of shows in support of their single ‘Soul Owl’.
On the stage of Manchester’s club academy, they not only sound like kings in waiting, but they look like it too. Though the crowd might not be at it’s hot, sweaty fullest, they still manage to create the kind of atmosphere usually only done by those at the very top of their game, crashing about on drums and bringing their unique brand of synth sampling brilliance. It’s doesn’t seem like arrogance either, simply a belief in what they are achieving. A reassuring sign is that the band can manufacture such a feeling in an age when too many settle for simply doing their jobs and getting off.
In fact, in the flesh it’s a bit easier to pin down some of their influences, and there’s a spine-tingling amount of math rock somewhere deep in the mix that simply makes it all work perfectly. If they wanted, it’d be easy to imagine Post war Years copping out and making something as radio friendly as Friendly Fires – there’s no doubting that they have the talent for it. But during tracks such as ‘Whole World on Its Head’ there’s a passion that makes them a lot deeper than many of their contemporaries. Probably the most impressive thing is the difficulty in picking a highlight from the set. It’s not difficult to imagine the band returning in 12 months with a critically acclaimed album under their belt, playing a sold out show – in fact, it’s harder to think that it might not happen.
Post War Years – Soul Owl (Answering Machine remix) (sendspace)