Who? The Early Years began barnstorming clubs in late-2004, earning respect with Brian Eno-approved studio tricks. The London trio — guitarist/vocalist David Malkinson, guitarist Roger Mackin, and drummer Phil Raines — just issued an expanded version of their self-titled debut album.
What’s the Deal? Mackin’s parents reportedly spent time in the Hilton room beneath John Lennon and Yoko Ono during their famed 1969 bed-in, and the couple’s ability to mesh studio experimentation with pop craftsmanship clearly seeped through the suite’s floorboards. The Early Years’ debut jumps from the infectious, Velvet Underground-influenced “All Ones & Zeros” to the eight-minute noise jam “Song for Elizabeth” to the slightly medieval “This Ain’t Happiness” without missing a beat, or more accurately, an atonal note.
Fun Fact: Mackin scored a chance to showoff for a hero long before the Early Years landed a record deal. While playing guitar at home, Mackin spotted Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce leaving Tesco’s. Eager to impress his idol, Mackin popped open his window and began riffing on some of Pierce’s pre-Spiritualized Spacemen 3 material. “[Pierce] stopped, looked around to see where it was coming from and started laughing,” Mackin told SPIN.com. “I met him a year or so later and he remembered it, saying the first tune was a bit slow but the second song was spot on!” MIKE GREENHAUS
Now Hear This: The Early Years – “All Ones & Zeros” DOWNLOAD MP3
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On SPIN.com: The Early Years Think Big
On the Web: theearlyyears.org.uk