Forget about always losing, The Gospel Youth have clasped an unmitigated victory.
Label: Rise Records
Released: 14th July 2017
There’s always something very special about a band who can write songs that, when you’re singing them back with all your might, can bring you to shed tears of catharsis, tears of joy and maybe even tears of sheer euphoria.
With that sentiment in mind, you might want a jumbo box of Kleenex within arm’s reach when you first hit ‘play’ on what can only be described as a remarkable debut album from The Gospel Youth.
Rather than phoning in half-baked ‘carpe diem’ bullshit, the Brighton four-piece have ironically found confidence and superhuman strength in bearing all of their crippling insecurities on ‘Always Lose’. As frontman Sam Little declares ever so poignantly on the anthemic chorus on ‘Wildfire’, “I am meant for something more…”. It’s a lesson that’s taken a while for Sam to learn, but as he indicates with the abundance of soulful flourishes, he’s become a beacon of a singer.
For an album that’s rooted in a gloomy past of depression, heartbreak and pure misery at time, it’s incredible to hear burst after burst of colourful pop-rock that glistens with hope and enthusiasm. The eloquent guitar work of Julian Bowen and Kev Deverick makes for a killer pairing with Kurtis Maiden’s frantic drums when the likes of ‘I Will Deliver You To The Fireflies’ and ‘Tired Eyes & Heavy Hearts’ spring into life. Meanwhile, on ‘Gin & Black Coffee’ and ‘Your Love Was A Cancer’, Little goes full-on Patrick Stump in his bombastic prime to blinding effect.
Sonically The Gospel Youth aren’t exactly reinventing the wheel, but what they have done is kept it spinning while other bands of their ilk threatened to grind it to a halt. There’s meaning to their melodies, conviction to their choruses and, as already mentioned, sincerity to their singalongs, the majority of which are just too damn infectious to ignore.
Vibrant and vital, ‘Always Lose’ is an astounding achievement for this generation of British rock. Forget about always losing, The Gospel Youth have clasped an unmitigated victory here and it’s time for you to sing your praises. Danny Randon