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Early Year - Backlight EP

  by Jamie Rowland

published: 22 / 12 / 2005

Early Year - Backlight EP
Label: Algorhythm
Format: CDS


Pleasant, if somewhat unremarkable indie guitar rock from new London-based group Early Year

Not to be confused with math-rock progsters the Early Years, London-based group Early Year is made up of drummer Matt Ball, Alan Thomson on vocals and sampling, bassist Jon Clifford and guitarist Mat Dobson. ‘Backlight’ is their second release; a four-track EP which kicks off with ‘Always Up’. Dobson’s effects-heavy guitar gives a Coldplay-like atmosphere to the track, but there is a darkness to the music which makes it more similar to current chart hits Editors (although Thomson manages to resist the temptation to impersonate Interpol front-man Paul Banks). The song builds to a stomping, piano-bashing chorus which does its job well, sticking in your head for some time after listening. My only gripe with this track is the bridge, which doesn’t quite seem to fit in with the rest of the song. The second track on the EP, ‘Iona’, bears more than a passing resemblance to Muse in their quieter moments, with tinkly synths and a funky bass-line from Clifford. At the same time, there is something Jeff Buckley-esque about Thomson’s vocals on this track. Unfortunately, for me this song was a bit too much like a cheese sandwich – tasty, certainly, but nothing to write home about. ‘Inside you’ is very similar, and again is little more than pleasant background music (although a pretty tasty bridge section helps bring it to the foreground.) The final track on the EP, ‘Last Laugh’, reminds me of the phenomenally pretentious – but thoroughly enjoyable – New York art band/collective Lansing-Dreiden (although this song is not nearly as complex as Langsing’s compositions). Samples are layered up over a driving rhythm section and gentle, harmonised vocals. There’s nothing incredibly attention grabbing about this release, and it’s certainly nothing you won’t have heard before, but the opening and closing tracks make ‘Backlight’ at least worth investigating. Like Muse? Try Muse Lite!

Track Listing:-
1 Always Up
2 Iona
3 Inside You
4 Last Laugh

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