Riding high on the coat-tails of a well-received EP (Misanthropy), critical acclaim, triumphant festival slots and the not too insignificant honour of having a song (‘Tony Don’t You Worry’) chosen for the soundtrack of a Christian Slater movie comes the debut LP from Trim band Youth Mass. Written and recorded over the course of 2013, it finds the band flexing their musical muscles and seeking to occupy the crawl space between commercial sing along, melodic stadium stompers and poly rhymthic post rock epics.
Opening with instrumental ‘Morning Run’, a tension building three minutes of in your face guitar and segueing effortlessly into ‘On A Wave’ which recalls golden era U2, without a mentioning God or the oilfields of some far-flung country, this is a nice introduction to the band. Markers are laid down, strong melodies, driving drums and ambient, crisp guitars are what this band is about.
This continues on ‘Dream On’, the lead single from the album, which has a good chorus reminiscent of high-brow indie stalwarts Idlewild in their heyday. It’s a good song and I can see why it was chosen as a single but in ‘Old Enough To Know Better’ they have a hit on their hands. The band have commented in interviews that next time around they could just as easily go full-instrumental or even release a dance album. The dance tendencies are never more apparent than on this song, which is driven by two catchy guitar riffs fighting it out for speaker space and a very danceable 4 to the floor drum beat. This song will go down well at festivals and sounds great on headphones especially and is readymade to take over the airwaves.
Other highlights on the album include ‘Close To Tears” and ‘In Slow Motion’. The former, a brooding number elevated by another vocal coming from out of nowhere about the three and a half minute mark. It works well and as you listen to the song you are hoping that it comes back in but unfortunately it doesn’t. ‘In Slow Motion’, meanwhile, builds from nothing to a huge anthemic rock wig-out that Biffy Clyro would be proud of.
People familiar with the bands previous output will recognise ‘False Starts’ and ‘Tony Don’t You Worry’ on the album and may even lament the fact that two familiar songs are taking up valuable song space on the record. You can forgive an up and coming Irish band for including what they see as their best songs in their repertoire on the album, chief among their number, the tune which had garnered the most publicity and air-time for them thus far.
Morning Run Evening Sun is a confident and sometimes thrilling step in the right direction for a band who in musical terms are still evolving and developing. They have shown that they can pen good tunes, they just need to keep doing it and their stock will surely rise.