Three years ago, the Silver Jews called it quits. For the diehard fans, this was the end of an era and akin to the death of indie rock as a whole. There has always been hope that the lyrical genius David Berman would in some way return to his artistic roots. Whether it be a musical collaboration, or his random thoughts on a random YouTube channel. We hoped for anything new, old, or forgotten to surface. And on June, 19th 2012, we will be blessed with Early Times.
Early Times is the Silver Jews’ remastered preamble to Starlite Walker. A compilation of their single 7″ Dime Map of the Reef and 12″ EP The Arizona Record. Although, calling this album remastered is a joke. Not so much a ha-ha joke, but one of irony. I can’t compare the sound quality of the original vinyl to Early Times, but the sound is rough and very lo-fi. The type of feedback you get when you record yourself off of your $20 boom box. Then again, I wasn’t cool enough at 2 years old to purchase an original copy of Dime Map of the Reef. So maybe I shouldn’t really talk.
What I love about this album is the way you can see the Silver Jews develop their sound. Through basic drum beats and repetitive nonsense, you can hear them searching for that pitch-perfect prose. The music that would one day inspire every Hipster Jew ever to talk about Jesus, the rebel Jew. This album is not a masterpiece in any sense. It’s a window into the rugged minds of three men in their early 20′s.
Are you that asshole who constantly says, “Man, the old Modest Mouse is better than recent Modest Mouse”. Or, “I can’t listen to this new Dr. Dog crap.” Or, “Weezer? Why did they make anything past the Blue Album.” Well then Early Times is for you, my friend. Some people might find this too lo-fi. Others might not be interested at all. But as a huge Silver Jews fan, this album is refreshing. So I give it 4 Halls out of 5 Oates.