new music: youth man stake their claim to loudest band in the uk with their new ep ‘hill of knives.’ #soundcheck
By Sound Check
April 27, 2015
Youth Man’s music occupies the space somewhere between discovering a badly decomposed body under the boards in the basement and having put it there yourself. Tales of horror and death permeate the band’s latest EP Hill of Knives. It’s a record that digs its talons into your skin and doesn’t let go until it’s full.
By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor
Lead single “Skin” is fiery ball of fury that wouldn’t sound out of place on a vintage Gravity Records release. Singer Kaila Whyte shreds her vocal chords within an inch of her life. The song is the hardest and fastest that Youth Man gets on this record, one less focused on ragers than on simmering tension and atmosphere. Still, the band teases considerable depth from the tension between simmering and exploding. “Joy” mines the irony of its title with the opening line “standing in a pool of cold blood,” before declaring “I am a monster of joy and sadness.” Rhythm section Miles Cocker and Marcus Perks pull the set through constant off-kilter rhythms and tempo shifts. The constant unease at the heart of Youth Man’s music builds to a relief any time they settle in for a stretch of 4/4 like in the breakdown to “Always the Same” before Kaila Whyte screams out “human beings are inherently selfish creatures!”
The record closes with the two most haunting cuts. “Auto-da-Fé,” which premiered on AFROPUNK Mixtape #005, slows things down a bit without losing a shred of noise and rawness. The band digs in to their penchant for unease with feedback drones and sludge. Closer “Dead Weight” indulges in some noise experimentation with a glitch take of Marcus Perks’ drums before exploding in an almost alt metal groove that would make Quicksand proud. Throughout Hill of Knives, Youth Man lay out the state of hardcore in 2015. It’s raw, bloody, and terrifying, but it’s weirdly beautiful. It’s arrhythmic and disjointed but it’s melodic and driving. It’s these contradictions that threaten to tear the music apart that Youth Man finds twisted pleasure in exploring. And if there’s one thing they excel at beyond all others, it’s tearing shit apart.
The band’s manifesto bears reprinting:
· We are the loudest live band in the UK. We will gladly accept challenges to that claim.
· We believe in making honest music and do not care about what anybody else is doing. We do not care about what we are told we should sound like. This is what Youth Man are doing and this is what it should sound like.
· Substance comes before style. Anybody who thinks that their outfit or image is more important than the music they make is unworthy of being taken seriously.
· Music should not always be easy to listen to. Music is expressive and dynamic. It should be loud and quiet, pleasant and unpleasant.
· Music should not have to fall into a precise category in order to be accepted. The abundance of genres and sub genres which we now face are simply a means to make the bastardization, debasement and dilution of music simpler.
· Female musicians are not gimmicks.
· Black Rock musicians are not gimmicks.
· We recorded this EP in October 2014 with our friend Isaac Cartwright at Muthers Studio in Birmingham.
· The songs are about Tyranny, the hypocrisy of the West, isolation, the human experience, and the largest organ in the human body.
· Play it on your stereo.
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