Album Review: Edelweiss – Pre-Columbians EP

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Surprisingly, the oldest member of Pennsylvania-based quartet Edelweiss is 17. It’s the kind of piece of biographical information that will surface in every review and feature about the band in the foreseeable future, and, as unfortunate as this inevitability might be, it needs to be said. On their debut EP Pre-Columbians, Edelweiss sounds as musically mature as similar artists a decade or two their senior.

On opener “Icarus”, drum beat akin to Foals hammers along as vocals seamlessly glide in and out of irresistible guitar hooks that bring to mind Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. The instrumental “A Sound from Pennsylvania” hints that it might slow down the momentum as it opens on a serene note, but the track soon proves to be the EP’s most electrifying song as some highly impressive guitar licks increasingly build tension with increasing intensity. Edelweiss takes the catchiness of “Icarus” even further on the lead single “(NO)” by infusing it with an extra layer of youthful energy that’s as boisterous and danceable as Los Campesinos!.

Edelweiss mixes up the formula some on “Witches and Vampires” and EP closer “Fiasco” by becoming fully possessed by the specter of post-punk, switching to a slightly pained, eerie vocal timbre. As surprisingly mature as their sound is, it is marred by a persistently nagging sense of familiarity thanks to the ubiquity of like-minded bands such as Bloc Party and Arctic Monkeys in years past. Nevertheless, the youthful exuberance of Edelweiss makes for some highly infectious moments.

Essential Tracks: “(NO)”, “A Sound From Pennsylvania”

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