Post War Years
Green Door Store, Brighton
It’s vaguely panic-inducing when the band you’re about to see only has four members, but they manage to clutter up the stage with three looming keyboard contraptions. What awkward and fiddly prog shit have we let ourselves in for tonight? Will each song last ten minutes, be in 5/4 timing or, worse still, mean we have to dance?
Thankfully, Post War Years’ gadgets don’t get in the way of their underlying punk-rock sensibilities. Sure their sleek, studied synth pop may use more than three chords, but it never forgoes the grubby bit that makes music commercial and, more importantly, human. Frequently tonight the Leamington Spa quartet lean on Clor and Tom Vek and their knack for transforming the densely digital into something honeyed and hook-laden. For instance, opener ‘Glass House’ boasts a radio-friendly stateliness akin to White Lies, while the jabbing, 90s-house-inspired keyboard riff of ‘Black Morning’ karate chops through the air and buries itself in your brain. In every chorus, the three all-singing, all-dancing frontmen – who are just about visible behind their titanic synth podiums – hotfoot from one vocal line to another, with impressive agility.
Plus, under the glistening canopy of bleeps and samples, a brilliant drummer rummages around in the undergrowth. His beats are just the right balance of funky and thuggish, and belie his somewhat diminutive stature. Judging from earlier tweets, the Green Door Store guys ‘rationalised’ their amplification system this week; now that could mean anything under the sun, but it could well explain why PWY’s rhythm section sounds so hench tonight.
You often hear that the post-war years were ones of austerity, where nothing much happened. But, after tonight’s show, we can confirm there is definitely a lot happening with these Post War Years.