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early years-ii 2lp (sonic cathedral)

Price: $26.99


early years: ii

The Early Years follow their 2006 self-titled debut (Beggars Banguet) with their second album, II. Recorded in their home studio in rural Cheshire, England; mixed in Atlanta, Georgia, by Jason Kingsland (whose previous work includes Deerhunter's 2015 album Fading Frontier), and mastered at Abbey Road Studios by Frank Arkwright (whose previous work includes releases by Mogwai and New Order). II is well worth the wait. It's stunning -- the sound of a band who have matured and relaxed into their playing, created without any external pressures or expectations. With the sheer scale of its scope and vision, it towers above the legions of kraut-psych bands that came along in The Early Years' wake. Opener "Nocturne" is a ferocious collision of human and machine -- guitars that evoke Will Sergeant on Neil Young's farm, Roland TB-303s squelching away, and the wild-eyed energy of Julian Cope circa Fried. Cope and the Bunnymen are reference points throughout, but II also recalls New Order (the elegiac "Fluxus"), Dean Wareham dueling Tom Verlaine ("Out Of Signal"), Spiritualized ("Hush"), and Harmonia meeting pre-definite-article-Verve (closer "Memory Case"). lp jacket in foiled textured sleeve.

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