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Album Review

Youth Man – Wax EP

Youth Man - Wax EP

So much more than simply brilliant.

Label: Venn Records
Released: 1st July 2016

Rating: ★★★★★

It took Youth Man just six hours to record the five tracks that make up the most visceral release of the year. Flag in the ground, cards on the table: this release is so much more than simply brilliant. As filthy, rugged and crushing as we’ve come to expect from the trio, ‘Wax’ takes it further. There’s moments of disgust, beauty and intrigue littered throughout a record that’s as confrontational and challenging as it is welcomed.

From the oh so ‘Sweet Apples’ opening, hypnotic and inviting, the band lead you down dark corridors and stooped doorways to a secret sanctuary. For the next fifteen minutes, anything goes. And Youth Man take full advantage of this liberation.

‘Fat Dead Elvis’ is an anarchic kick against the established and the boring, bringing walls down to usher in the new (and finding time for a melodic, grinning instrumental wig out) before ‘Pigs’, reaching and gluttonous, attacks the greedy and the selfish with a sneering lust for something better.

‘Look: Wait’ soundtracks the following blind panic as hands feel their way through the dark before the light of ‘Painted Blue’ gives some semblance of peace. A careful march forward sees the band gather their thoughts and their friends as they face off against the ever-growing threat of fear and unease. A rallying cry, a focal point, or just someone screaming at the void; call it what you will but as Kaila Whyte belts out “I don’t think that I’m by myself. I’m everyone,” Youth Man’s conviction is inspiring and vital.

‘Wax’ is a record to rage to and to rage for. “That devil painted blue can go fuck himself,” spit the band. Political without preaching, important but never dull, this is more than the start of something incredible. This is what we’ve been waiting for. Ali Shutler