1. The Lost & Found
2. Hometown Homesick
3. Let It Burn
4. Love: The Monster
7. Lips As Leaders
8. Dream Alive
9. A Brief Moment Of Calm
12. A Long Time Coming
So here we have a rock band from Manchester, Retro Youth, and their debut album 'B.R.A.V.E.'
This record has already caught some traction with the likes of BBC’s Adam Walton playing a song from it this time last year, and Devolution Magazine had another song featured in their compilation CD (issue 39). Although, the album won’t be about until early February 2017.
Here is the truth, I have been anticipating this album for the past year now, and with all the hype created, overall I am a little disappointed with it. Vocalist Kris Davis has got a cracking fringe, but primarily a great pair of lungs on him which you will hear throughout the album, but I feel the best is yet to come from this chap as only a few of the songs got me nodding my head in approval and singing along. As a musician myself, I loved hearing the tasty time signature changes, like in their first song on the album “The Lost and Found” and “Lips as Leaders”. I was also impressed with some of Alan Martin’s drumming throughout the album, and keeping beats interesting in songs like “Bruises” and “F.I.N.E”
“Dream Alive” was the stand out song for me, as it’s the only song I have myself singing the next morning after listening to the album, at a push I’ll add in “Brave” there too, depending on how many chocolate hobnobs I fancy eating. Throughout the album guitar player Robin Burberry gives us some nice leads, mostly of the Pop/Funk feel, but he does let loose once or twice. For example, and I am all for guitar solos, but during “Let it Burn” he gives a very schizophrenic guitar solo in the middle which didn't suit the song at all, and to me sounded as if it should of been on a ‘Slipknot’ song, very out of place. Where as the solo for “Hometown Homesick” was tasteful and well placed within.
For me that’s how most of the album sounds, a general Pop feel with some Rock and Funk thrown in, but not really knowing what kind of music I’m listening too. Are they a Pop band? are they a Rock band? a few long distorted screams in there with finger numbing solos, so are they a Heavy Rock band? So unfortunately for me, this record has nothing unique to offer. It sounds good, and the band look the part, but you need more than image to keep me interested I’m afraid. I feel like some songs could of been better structured, and it also sounds as if some sections were plonked unnecessarily in there just to add some bulk to the track. All this being said the album does grow on you a little, so I suggest you listen to it a few times before you make up your mind. They have a growing fanbase so they have to be doing something right, right?
Final thoughts: Not my cup of tea, but throw a few hobnobs in there and any hot beverage becomes drinkable.
Stand Out Track: Dream Alive
Check out their video for 'Hometown Homesick'
Website - http://www.retroyouth.co.uk
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/retroyouth/?fref=ts
Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzmeDG5LAHFJsajGrnmelYw
Review - Dafydd Cartwright