The Post War Years' sophomore release, 2013's Galapagos, is a moody, synth-heavy album centered around the brooding croon of lead vocalist Simon Critten. The band has always stirred up an arty, layered brew of a sound since its 2009 debut, The Greats and the Happenings. However, where that album seemed to be crafted out of paper and sticks, guitars and tin cans (as well as the occasional synth), on Galapagos the Post War Years sound like they've traded all their instruments in for vintage drum machines and analog synthesizers that buzz and groan with a laser-toned intensity. Which is to say that the band has found a nice balance between the more contemporary prog-inflected craftsmanship of Field Music and the retro synth romanticism of bands like Delphic and Naked and Famous. This experimental if less organically frenetic approach finds the Post War Years delivering songs that build with a sustained, icy drama over the length of a song. Tunes like "Growl" and the languid "Mellotron" showcase unusual rhythmic and electronic patterns before their infectious melodic hooks become apparent. Ultimately, cuts like "All Eyes," "The Bell," and "Glass House" are, like all of Galapagos, monolithic, dance club-ready anthems that burst out of your speakers like delightfully lo-fi versions of Depeche Mode and New Order.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar