Album Review: YOUNG LIARS – Homesick Future
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With an opening that begs you to listen all the more intensely, Homesick Future – the new EP from Vancouver’s Young Liars (out Feb. 21 via Nettwerk Records) – sees the band tearing into some keyboard/synth-heavy electro-tinged pop rock territories that are sure to be a big hit with anyone who hears it… and if it’s not your cup of tea, then your musical tastes are most likely in serious need of an upgrade.
It seems these days the number of bands with the name “Young” + “insert other word here” is in great abundance – especially in Canada: Young Galaxy, Young Empires, and of course Young Liars among the latest of the bunch.
Thankfully, unlike some other Canadian acts of the late-90s/early-00s era (you know who I’m talking about), they’re not clones of each other and each is catchy as hell in their own right… especially Vancouver’s Young Liars here on their major label debut.
Lead track “Echoists” immediately gets things off to a danceable start, with a four-to-the-floor kick drum beat that lays the foundation for the electronic bass tones, swirling echo-filled arpeggiating guitar licks and prominent high-pitched synth leads that’ll have you humming along in time. The fact that vocalist Jordan Raine just happens to be asking the listener to “take [him] in [their] arms tonight” alongside this musicality makes the track all-the-more inviting. Just when you think the song might be finished around the 3:30 mark, the synth breakdown outro begins: a solid foreshadowing of things to come later in the album musically.
Though its lyric-laden video has been circulating the net for a few weeks now, lead single “Colours” easily stands alone without the visual to accompany it:
We can fight them on the ride. We can fight them inside your heavy head so full of fright.
Without the proper eyes we fly right by; ten years time, colour blind
We can fight them on the ride. We can fight them inside your heavy head so full of fright.”
With this lyric-heavy chorus it’s a good thing they made a video that recounts all the words, cause it’d be tricky trying to catch the whole tongue-twister without them being written out. On the flip-side of this – because they made the video, it makes it so much easier to sing along… and aside from the insanely catchy bass and guitar leads, it’s the lyrics that leave this song begging for sing-a-longs.
By the time “Navigator Island” starts, you may have begun to notice the Paul McCartney quality to Raine’s voice… and if Wings were around today, they’d surely be trying to capitalize on the electronic resurgence in popular music in some fashion with a similar dance-y musical flair.
Follow-up track “Marathon”, and the titular “Homesick Future”, both continue to accentuate this McCartney-ness vocally. The former starts off with a heavy bass dance beat and quickly escalates things through the roof with a headbob-inducing rhythm; the latter keeps that punchy bass groove that permeates throughout, but tones things down a bit to give the guitar and synths more prominence alongside the vocals.
While the minute-long “Great Green Light” allowing the listener to float off into the ambient distance at the end of the record, its immediate predecessor “Newton, Forgive Me” is the true closer to the album – featuring a opening drum rhythm the members of Stomp would be proud of.
Ultimately though, if the band has any one GREAT strong-suit in particular it’s that they write a mean bridge/breakdown in each of their tracks… which, depending on the circumstances for the live setting, could be extended in great abundance to please an eager and riled-up dance-loving crowd.
Based purely off its name, Homesick Future might be interpreted as that introspective album concerning the gut-wrenching reflections one has when trying to sort out the possible life paths they could take ahead of them. But Vancouver’s YOUNG LIARS have turned that sensation into a danceable set that pelts you in the face and doesn’t let you come up for air until they’re done having their way with your eardrums.
With their debut full-length announced for release in 2012, YOUNG LIARS best not be themselves the deceivers of their namesake, or it’s almost certain that there are going to be some pretty disappointed – and deprived – people out there.