The album opens with no messing about – a fuzzy lead guitar riff and crashing cymbal/snare beats bring the tone of the whole record to the fore with following melodic vocals. These quickly beak out into screams in the end of the first verse and into the chorus though, showing the raw anger flowing throughout Stubborn Youth.
The drums take over on the third track Consequences as a quick punk beat repeating by itself leads into a fast-paced and punchy rock track. A similar story is true on the following track Adieu with a bassline to match the slower beat, but breaks down to give a layered vocal chorus. First single Unveil also contains a huge drumbeat to open up: a recurring theme, it seems.
The first flavour of the album released was the single Unveil, which was used well and sums up the self-titled debut as a whole. Groovy bass and shimmering cymbals with layered gang vocals for the chorus shouting “raise your fist and let us rebel” show off the anger pent up in the group whether screaming and thrashing or playing through a quieter section. A very good track to start with to get you feeling the vibe of the release, maybe even before starting from the beginning.
Vocally, Cyrus King has a very unique sound however he projects his voice: his screams are high-pitched in a kind of hardcore style crossed with Austin Carlile to form a very throaty and fury-filled sound, his clean vocals are crisp and precise with a rock arrangement and the backing vocals are all tuned, however gang-sounding. The lyrics he uses throughout are well-written and meaningful throughout which is impressive considering the anger displayed within
Slightly bizarrely, How Can You Sleep At Night throws everything up to this part into question as electronics come out with a funky beat and whispered vocals through the verse that sound almost Rammstein-esque to create a huge-sounding industrial rock track. The pre-chorus has a funk riff with tuned vocals and the chorus breaks out into a before the outro brings in a crunchy rhythm guitar to keep the track weighted and it vanishes with no warning. This opens the way for Ungrateful Me to hold the same kind of blend though this time sounding more like a more modern Enter Shikari track. Alone has an all-out trip feel to it, with recurring electronic beats and spoken vocals.
The last track I Am Charlie is by far the standout on the record however, as the anger and hatred of the world displayed in attacks in the Charlie Hebdo offices last year are clearly a motive. The first three minutes of the track play out in a heartfelt acoustic piece renouncing all religion before it turns into a bouncy, screamed piece as Cyrus screams “f*** religion” over and over to bring home his point. The contrast between the two styles show how diverse This Be The Verse truly are, and while there is by no means a mastery of all the styles there is undoubtedly a firm grip.
Overall then, not a bad record but inevitably too wacky in parts and diverse as it is clear to see the record doesn’t fit together. As individual tracks there will be something for everyone, though as a collection there will be tracks people will inevitably skip.