A glorious wall of feedback opens Youth Mass’s debut long player, titled Morning Run | Evening Sun. The opening track is called Morning Run, and the album closes on Evening Sun – all very logical. Morning Run is an instrumental exercise in generating rich textures using many layers of heavily effected guitars, making it sound like a joint venture between Brian Eno and The Edge. It sets the scene for the rest of the album, which is atmospheric – the drum sound is enormous, the many tracks of overdubbed guitars are dripping with delay and reverb. There’s even a song on the album called “Echo Gate”!The songs are so ambient that it can be difficult to hear the nuances of the singer, and intelligibility was a problem on some tracks. The stuttering 16th shuffling snare roll that drives False Starts is unconventional, unsettling, and brilliant.
This four piece from Trim specialise in an mishmash of shoegazing and stadium rock seldom heard since Echo and the Bunnymen’s heyday. Think of Keane with guitars instead of electric piano, and you’ll be close to the mark. The sequenced noise gate on Old Enough To know Better underpins the driving rhythm section, and this song absolutely screams “single” – this track is ready for mainstream radio, and is a breath of fresh air. The band are no strangers to the airwaves, and have been lauded by Steve Lamaq, Paul McLoone and more. Their appearance at Electric Picnic last year will have helped them cement their anthemic sound, and I think they’ll be popular on the festival circuit this year.
Every so often I come across an album that I know I’ll still be listening to in a year, and this has been featuring very heavily in my playlists lately. Walking a tightrope between sonic experimentation and lush pop rock has never seemed so effortless. The album is out on April 4th.
Youth Mass are:
Darren Mullarkey – Vocals/Guitar,
Neil Nevins – Guitar,
Barry Mullarkey – Bass,
Willy Gray – Drums