Wednesday 22 May 2013

Poor Young Things - The Heart. The Head. The End.

Album review by

Poor Young Things don't make music to sit in on a grey day watching the rain on your window. This is vibrant, raw, enriching music. Any track that starts off with a "HEY!" and a rush of powerpop guitars is never going to soundtrack the dark night of your soul. And first track out of the starting blocks 'Dress It Up' cranks out just so. 'Dress It Up' is prime singalong material. Rather than falling into the over-used template and sounding sickly sweet like early '00's pop-punk of Bowling for Soup or Good Charlotte, Poor Young Things bring rawness and authenticity that sidles them closer to The Replacements or Titus Andronicus at there most accessible. No sooner does 'Dress It Up' billow past, 'Sign Of The Times' roars into view. A broader track than the starter, more akin with British contemporaries The Sharks or Pure Love. An irresistible track that has strong dynamics, classic mob-howled chants and perfect use of those "HEYS!". It's a track you find hitting repeat without realising. 'Transformer' keeps the breathless pace up. While not quite reaching the heights of 'Sign Of The Times', it still has an effortless power and hook that gratefully draws you in and doesn't let go. And at 3:13 the breakdown aches for a crowd of sunkissed thousands to clap in unison and shout out the hook of "maybe one day you'll learn something". It's your best summer's day soundtrack.

As a statement of intent, Poor Young Things set their bar high with the first three tracks on 'The Heart. The Head. The End.' Fourth track 'Warpaint' takes the foot of the gas slightly, allowing you to breath a little less frantically. A plea to those girls to "wash away the warpaint" and see the true beauty underneath. Still a raucous track coming on like a modern update of 'Kiss Me On The Bus' by The Replacements. The follower, 'Strength In Numbers' is more of a call to arms than the heady, lyrical chase of the preceding tracks. A organically grown track with its roots in vibrant Americana, it has a previously unseen maturity recalling the likes of the Drive By Truckers. By almost default, subsequent track 'Revolver' sounds nearly pedestrian by comparison. By no means a bad track, it rides on an almost early Oasis groove, (fitting given the title). It doesn't quite achieve the standard already set so high by the rest of the album. 'Running' fares better; lean crisp lyrics with a rich blue-collar music vibe. The sun is still shining, but the ride is more mellow now.

'Black Lightning' has a more classic feel. Here it steps up to the bar and meets the heights already set. 'Black Lightning' has a poise differing from the other tracks on offer. Delving into the wealth of classic American rock. With an almost Tom Petty mark, this song a rewarding, darker trip. Meanwhile 'The State' keeps its hand in with the classic rock touchstones. A stirring call to arms that invites you to join them in the ride. This couplet of songs shows that Poor Young Things are a band in possession of enough strength for the long haul. Similar to 'Revolver''s slight weakness 'Given The Situation' suffers from being present in an album full of stand-out tracks. Again, not a bad track, it just becomes a little throwaway in comparison to what's around it. Although fairly brisk, it feels that it slightly outstays its welcome. Final track 'Ghost Notes' brings 'The Heart. The Head. The End' to a rich conclusion. With its more subdued and restrained pace, it could only have been the album's closer. A last song at the prom, where voices have been shouted hoarse, feet are tired, hearts and heads have been filled with joy, lust and beer. Just as you think the song is going to bow out it lifts itself to a kaleidoscopic finale and ends out a great album in style.

Stream 'The Heart. The Head. The End.' in full and download 'Sign Of The Times' for free from Poor Young Things' website

Pre-order the album

Catch them live:

May 22 – Kingston, ON – The Mansion *
May 23 – Guelph, ON – E-Bar *
May 24 – Peterborough, ON – Red Dog *
May 25 – Toronto, ON – Horseshoe *
May 28 – London, ON – APK Live *
May 29 – Windsor, ON – Phog Lounge *
May 30 – Waterloo, ON - Maxwells Music House *
May 31 – Sarnia, ON – Paddy Flaherty’s *
June 1 – St Catharines, ON – Mansion House *
June 5 – Halifax, NS – Seahorse Tavern * LIVE 105 "Presents"
June 6 – Moncton, NB – Tide And Boar *
June 7 – Charlottetown, PEI – Hunter’s Ale House *
June 8 – Fredericton, NB – Lava Vodka Bar (Nicky Zee’s) *
June 12 – Regina, SK – The Exchange
June 13 – Calgary, AB – Palomino Social Club
June 14 – Kelowna, BC – Doc Willoughby’s
June 15 – Vancouver, BC – Media Club
June 18 –  Nanaimo, BC – The Queens
June 20 – Edmonton, AB – Avenue Theatre
June 21 – Saskatoon, SK – Vangelis
July 1 – Thunder Bay, ON – Canada Day Celebrations (Prince Arthur's Landing)
July 6 – Buffalo, NY – Darien Lake Performing Arts Center #
July 7 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Concert Center #
July 12 – Camden, NJ – Susquehanna Bank Center #
July 18 – Cleveland, OH – Blossom Music Center #
July 19 – Detroit, MI – The Palace of Auburn Hills #
July 20 – Chicago, IL – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre #
July 21 – Minneapolis, MN – Canterbury Park #
July 23 – Kansas City, KS – Cricket Wireless Amphitheater #
July 24 – St. Louis, MO – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater  #
July 25 – Atlanta, GA – Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood #
Aug 2 – Dallas – TX – Gexa Energy Pavilion #
* w/ Gloryhound
# Warped Tour

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