Young Hearts – In The Middle You’ll Find Balance – REVIEW

After releasing their first EP in 2015, Young Hearts have slowly been gaining a following in Europe. Being known for the energetic live shows and what was an energetic initial release, this debut album by Young Hearts promises to be a great release. Alongside the release of this record, on the 11th of March,  Young Hearts are also playing Grozerock this year. But without further ado let’s break down this debut record by Young Hearts.

Opening up this debut album by Young Hearts is Roll In The Hay which brings this album in, in a spectacular way. Being solely instrumental it is not something that is normally done, but Young Hearts definitely make themselves heard with this well orchestrated opening that shows off not only this ability to create an interesting track but also show off their tight instrumentation. With blasting drums mixed in the well toned guitars, the track come together for a powerful opening that leaves the floor open for anything to come due to its lack of vocals

Coming next on this album is Animals, the lead single off of In The Middle You’ll Find Balance, this track which is the first indication of what this band will sound like with vocals, is an impressive track. After the songs beginning which feels like it has been ripped from the mid-2000’s,which brings a nostalgia kick, the track slows up a little for Tom Schrey’s vocals to come over and help power the track along up until the instrumentation comes back in full force. Animals truly brings this sense of Young Hearts’ ability to not only create a cohesive track but also showcase their ability to  not only impress instrumentally but also vocally, whilst at the same time sounding like they have been placed on a Tony Hawk soundtrack

Following on from Animals is a duo of tracks, the first of which is Shakes, which opens up with this brief moment of spoken word/sampling. As the track starts to rear its head, soon the band come in to full swing with a track which has a great bass riff running along the bottom of the track which truly adds something else to it and it’s makeup, especially during the moments in the track when the instrumentation simply is bass and drums running underneath the well orchestrated vocals and subtle harmonies. GFY! is the second half of this duo and as an overall track it feels completely different to the songs which come before it, whilst still running with this more Punk Rock structure and composition, it still feels like it could be a completely different band. This far more guitar centric track allows the vocals to be more rough around the edges which although is a subtle change not everyone will be in to, does bring an extra layer to this riff heavy, fun track.

Coming off the tail end of GFY! comes a trio a tracks which begins with Today, which is by far the weakest track on the release, despite still being strong instrumentally, the track suffers from this wall of guitars which seem to crash together creating a somewhat difficult listen. Despite the vocals and drums on this track managing to carry this song on the album in comparison to the rest of the songs on here it feels much weaker than most of this albums tracklisting. Coming next in this trio is Start Over and is the first time there is any noticeable dynamic change as it is in the opening of this track the song begins with this soft and slow piano intro which introduces a new layer and element to the track as it feels very juxtaposing in comparison not only to the rest of the album but also to the rest of this track as soon the track comes back in to full swing with this fast paced punk rock sound the rest of the album  entails.

The final part of this trio is Bullet, and following a brief sample the track kicks in to full swing with a wall of sound that feels more Punk in its orchestration. The far more aggressive instrumentation and vocals adds to the overall feeling of the track. As this song progresses, the instrumentation continues to impress and truly showcases Young Hearts ability to create a fast paced, high octane track which encompasses almost a different side of the band, however, with such a short time this moment feels short lived.

Following on from this trio of tracks is The Voice. A cut from this album which although isn’t breaking the wheel or adding any new dimension to the album is a very well written and orchestrated track, with a snappy chorus and decent amount of tight instrumentation, it is a decent track that not only reaffirms Young Hearts’ ability to create a cohesive track but also allow themselves to show off a little more instrumentally, with a solo slotted in part way through the song.

Coming off the tail end of The Voice is another trio of tracks starting with the simply titled  Awesome the band jump in to a track which feels again very reminiscent of this late 90’s Punk Rock, it is evident through this and many other tracks that Young Hearts on this record are replicating a sound which hasn’t been heard in quite a while. Alongside this, Awesome brings along some of the best harmonies on the entire record, with the simplistic yet powerful harmonies bringing an extra punch to the vocals and lyrics. Awesome is one of the strongest cuts off of this record and with this tight orchestration it will leave you playing it over and over.

Guess Again follows quickly after and although the drums on this track are exceptional there is something missing to make this track as strong as others that have followed it, however the introduction of slightly heavier instrumentation and screamed vocals allow for a different texture to this record and make an exceptional addition to what is a strong album. The final part of this second trio of tracks is Low Tidal Wave, which yet again brings a vast dynamic change to what comes before it, with the slower and darker instrumentation coupled with the sample/spoken word running underneath the song has an extremely different feel to it. Almost as if this isn’t the same band, however, at the same time the break from the upbeat Punk Rock the main chunk of this album features is interesting.

With Low Tidal Wave starting to bring this album to a close Young Hearts then come crashing back in with Balance. With the longest run time on the record, it is in Balance that the band seem to give themselves a little more time to experiment as during this track, the most interesting and clever moments of instrumentation come in to play. With changes in tempo and volume the band showcase many different musical abilities. With a Punk Rock opening, an Easycore center and what feels slightly indie ending this track showcases the band in many different lights and does truly make an interesting listen. Overall Balance does make the perfect closer, filled with beautifully constructed vocal melodies and tight instrumentation the band close In The Middle You’ll Find Balance well.

Overall this Young Hearts debut album In The Middle You’ll Find Balance is a well constructed and well executed project that showcases a sound that many maybe missing. With the nostalgia kick of Late 90’s to Mid-2000’s Punk Rock mixed well with a few moments of genre blending the band create a record that never seems to lull apart from a few moments here and there. With Tom Schrey’s well choreographed vocal melodies this album allows for each member to show of their musical prowess in a different way. If you are in need of a new album that brings nostalgia with it or just a strong album to listen to then look no further as Young Hearts are providing it.

Gnarwolves – Live @ The Exchange, Bristol (14/1/17)

With this being the first of many gigs for these bands 2017, It’s getting ready to be a fully fledged night of hanging with friends, strong punk and hardcore riffs as well as giving you something special to kick in your first gig of the new year!

CROWS AN WRA

Kicking off the night with something progressive from Penzance is Crows An Wra who know how to bring their game with the boogie. Their tracks are fast paced and full of emotion as well as effects that translate well from their studio produced songs to an amazing live setting. The crowd was transfixed by the sound they were bringing to the table with vocal delays, a powerfully clean sounding guitar and a great selection of tracks. Tracks such as ‘Shroud’ are just as captivating live as they are on a physical format and the band definitely put their all into it with their stage presence being a very strong highlight of the night. They may have stuck out on the bill, but they had people leaving talking about them and opened the night fantastically.

Rating: 9/10

DEAD SWANS

Up next were the emotionally charged hardcore band from Brighton who pushed the crowd atmosphere a lot higher and the sold out venue was definitely in awe with something that brought a certain level of anger and sadness to the night. The band came back to life back in May 2016 at Outbreak Festival and with the 7 months that have passed by that day, they’ve gotten much more crisper and feel much more at home during this show. The small venue took to them well and the moshers came out in full force. Playing a varied set that took the crowd by the scruff of their neck and throwing their all into their live set, they are definitely a band that you need to keep an eye out for when they come to your town.

Rating: 9.5/10

GNARWOLVES

Having been recording a new album right at the beginning of this year, fans were excited to give Gnarwolves a brilliant first show of the new year brought the night to a spiritual high. Opening up with ‘Bottle To Bottle’ and the crowd already yelling the words back at the top of their lungs sets you up from 5 seconds in how crazy this night was going to be. Throwing you into a night of a career-spanning set from the old jams to four new tracks from the upcoming record, the whole venue felt blissful with everyone coming together to celebrate the beauty that is punk rock. The harmonies on vocals came through strongly, the stage dives were plentiful and above all, Gnarwolves showed that they are undoubtedly one of the best bands the UK music scene has to offer you. Raise your glasses high, for 2017 may be the best year Gnarwolves will have so far!

Rating: 10/10