Review : Young Guns - Bones
SputnikmusicIt may admittedly be personal preference which dictates such an opinion, but it has always surprised just how few rock bands play a huge, anthemic style that should appeal to a mass worldwide audience. Fear of personal preservation in taking on the big boys is an issue, but it only takes a few songs of such a sound to catch on, and a band could be filling arenas just like Muse and Kings of Leon... Or better yet, filling stadiums like Foo Fighters, Green Day and U2. Sure, each of these success stories put their own distinctive stamp on the formula, and it is this integral quality which usually proves the stumbling block for up-and-comers. From the very beginning of their career, it has been crystal clear that English quintet Young Guns have wished to join such outfits, and they got off to an excellent start with debut LP ‘All Our Kings are Dead’. Coming off as a heavier, more atmospheric Lostprophets, a detailed and well-crafted lyrical and musical edge appeared to be the band’s secret ingredient... One they look to hone on second LP ‘Bones’.
Far from being a re-tread of its predecessor, ‘Bones’ mixes things up by using a change of theme to drive a growth in sound. Whereas the debut used motifs of war & rebellion as the catalyst for an aggressive edge, one look at this track-list gives away themes of death and making the most of one’s life. This alternately gives off a dark - yet uplifting - mood, which ultimately results in ‘Bones’ not being as immediate as ‘All Our Kings Are Dead’, but having a growth factor that is just as effective. ‘Learn My Lesson’ spotlights this with its huge sound initially overwhelming its hooks, which do not quite befit its designation as lead single for such an anthemic release. Better showcases of the quintet’s style of rock are the rollicking ‘Brother In Arms’, the dual guitar driven opener ‘I Was Born, I Have Lived, I Will Surely Die’, and the massive title track, which contains that difficult to pinpoint atmosphere right from its opening notes... Not to mention a rousing call & response chorus, and a fantastic guitar solo and accompanying drum barrage.
While often slick and crisp, the production courtesy of Dan Weller (guitarist of progressive metal band SikTh) always flows well and does a great job in giving off a live vibe, pushing Gustav Wood’s vocals to soaring heights. Wood not only has a strong, commanding voice, but also has the quality of conviction. His passionate delivery of lyrics revolving around themes of regret, reflection and motivation overcome the arguably clichéd words used (see the aforementioned opener and ‘Brother In Arms’). He also handles both loud and quiet moments with confidence, the latter of which surface frequently to give ‘Bones’ some much-needed – if polarizing – diversity. The atmosphere turns to solemn on short interludes ‘A Hymn For All I’ve Lost’ and ‘Interlude’, both of which unfortunately sound like failed longer tracks, while the now customary epic closer ‘Broadfields’ runs the gamut of emotions, even allowing Wood to brandish his falsetto....full text
BbcWith the release this week of Van Halen’s surprisingly impressive comeback album, A Different Kind of Truth, many an ageing rock fan has been reflecting that rock stars are no longer made as once they were. And while the image of David Lee Roth springing around a stage with tongue in cheek and one leg 180 degrees above his head is tough to beat, older listeners are often too quick to damn and dismiss young bands who emerge in their own middle age.
Last year Young Guns performed their largest headline show to date, an evening at the 2,000-capacity Forum in London’s Kentish Town. It was the biggest night of their professional lives, and when the stage lights broke (and remained broken for the rest of the evening) so too did the headliners’ hearts. But faced with this calamity, frontman Gustav Wood led the band through an hour’s worth of music that could be heard even if the group could not be seen; with single-handedness and single-mindedness he saved the night. In doing so, and without knowing it, he marked out his group as ones to watch.
Bones is a fiery yet melodious modern rock album made by a band who may come to regret their name should they survive to become old hands. The quintet’s songs are built from the beat up – it’s not difficult to imagine their drummer attacking his kit like a monkey at a salad bar – but atop such emphasis sits many a strong chorus and a good deal of high production values....full text
MusicomhYoung Guns are a band with a lot of self-belief. After their debut EP came out in 2009 - which led to a supporting slot for the Lostprophets - they released their debut album, entitled All Our Kings Are Dead, a year later under their own label. The album was received positively and paved the way for a headlining slot at the Kentish Town Forum in London and an appearance on the Main Stage at Reading and Leeds Festivals. Yet, despite bursting on to the scene with their high-octane debut album, the five-piece from High Wycombe set themselves the challenging task of outdoing their first album.
The sophomore album is the most dreaded; it’s often the album that can make or break an up-and-coming band. And Young Guns clearly felt the pressure when they returned to the studio, spending many futile hours trying to come up with a direction for the new album. However, thankfully for all those concerned, Gustav Wood, Fraser Taylor and John Taylor eventually came up with the basis for what would become Dearly Departed. “Once we wrote that song, we knew we could really make a mark with this album,” says Wood....full text
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