EP Review

EP Review: Alternative Endings // The Year In Pictures

Inspired by the likes of Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Radiohead and Queens of the Stone Age, one would expect The Year In Pictures to have a heavy sound. One would be right. Melding elements of garage rock, alternative rock and even some indie-rock in the mix, this UK-based group can lead you to a grungy swirl of sound.

Thing is, who is The Year In Pictures?

After meeting at university, Xav (vocals and bass), Dom (guitar) and Callum (drums) decided to record some music. Technically formed in 2019, the Norwich natives began releasing music in 2020 after playing numerous gigs. Supported by BBC Introducing, local radio stations, Reyt Good Music and YMX, the trio is reaching a larger audience. The latest addition to their repertoire is Alternative Endings.

Showcasing their innovativeness, each track on Alternative Endings stands out but comes together to form a powerful cohesive one. The project began in Perth, Australia with initial recordings; however, it was completed in the UK during Covid-19 lockdowns throughout 2020. Mixed and mastered by producer Dalton Allison in the USA, Alternative Endings is the product of the necessary remote collaborations during the current climate.

As I said, Alternative Endings is a conglomeration of individual tracks with powerful personalities. Ranging from the grungy ‘Hopeless Fever’ to the high-paced ‘Nothing To Say’ and softer ‘For No One’, Alternative Endings is a kaleidoscopic soundscape of life. In six songs, Xav, Dom and Callum create the perfect soundtrack for those coming-of-age films.

As each song has individuality, the use of instrumentation differs in each track pointing out their versatility as artists. Opening with the griminess of grunge in ‘Hopeless Fever’, the lads quickly transition to an indie-rock style with lighthearted guitar solos in ‘Nothing To Say’. The anchor in this hard-hitting EP is Xav’s distinct, throaty vocals.

Rich and bold, Xav elegantly traverses the different genres effortlessly executing meaningful lyricism. What I find intriguing is how Xav can enhance poignancy, desperation and anxiety with a lingering melancholic nostalgia. It is extremely difficult to choose a favourite track as the steadiness of the vocals adds a robustness to Alternative Endings. If I had to choose, it would probably be ‘For No One’ – a smoother track with some cheeky soul influences.

Overall, I love the album! Listening to Alternative Endings is like eating a bar of dark chocolate with a sweet caramel filling. Deliciously decadent, but worth the calories!

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