Release Date: March 2012
5 Tracks; 320 kbps MP3
Review by: Bianca Marcus
St. Catharines-based The Years' debut EP Red Wine and Clarity puts to music the frailty of young adulthood, of love, loss, and moving on.
Flawless production and insightful lyrics come from a place of authenticity; the band relies on solid musicianship and intelligent sensitivity rather than teenage angst. It's the perfect driving soundtrack, evoking feelings of escape and growth, of leaving the past behind and setting out on one's own. As soon as I heard it, I was brought back to the finale of Six Feet Under (during which I cried like a fool).
Adam Trasatti's clean guitar, Adrian Petrachenko's melodic keyboard, and Kevin Hodgkins' emotive vocals bring to mind an early U2; the listener also notes shades of Kings of Leon circa Only By The Night as drummer Jeremy Randell and bassist Brad Neufeld complete the mix. "Casualties" starts with a slow simmer and bursts into a passionate cry. Repeated lines like "We're the casualties of the young and hopeless / We're the casualties of the young and restless" heighten the intensity of the song; echo and reverb, most notably in "War", create a haunting effect.
Red Wine and Clarity is moody and sensitive while remaining grounded and relatable. Like wine, people (one would hope) gain greater clarity with age; the years of youth and young adulthood shine a spotlight on this search for clarity. Alternately, this is about drinking a bottle of red wine, getting drunk as a motherfucker and gaining some Bukowski-style clarity. I look forward to hearing more from this band; a full-length album is forthcoming.
Download the Red Wine and Clarity EP for free from the band's website.