The Mic talk you through the latest EP offering from alternative teen icon YUNGBLUD.
YUNGBLUD’s the underrated youth EP showcases the raucous rebellion of youthful consciousness with sustained and infectious energy. Yet, the playfully aggressive guitar and drums are at moments diminished by their correspondingly outrageous lyrics that slip from emotional sincerity to clichés of teenage angst, which pander to the youth of YUNGBLUD’s core audience.
The EP kicks off with braindead!, which has a repetitive but energizing chorus broken by interesting verses, the vocals out of tempo with the guitars. Then, with the addition of a soaring bridge and an unexpectedly reggae-resembling rhythm, the track builds to a boisterous conflagration. The 22-year-old artist has cultivated a rowdy crowd chant that will no doubt be perfect for hyping up live shows – a formula ‘not that hard when you can read between the bars’. However, while the song has a lot going on, the sum may not be greater than its parts.
Similarly, YUNGBLUD offers hope for the underrated youth; an emo rock anthem with surprising sophomoric sincerity, the more delicate vocals in the bridge of this track are juxtaposed with the passionate roar of the chorus, yet it arguably fails to deliver a particularly innovative sound in an already saturated musical corpus of teen melodrama.
'The 22-year-old artist has cultivated a rowdy crowd chant that will no doubt be perfect for hyping up live shows'.
Sonically, parents is a more complex offering comparable to Twenty One Pilots and RAT BOY, with a good beat and piano melody layered with cinematic sound effects. While this track is more adventurous, the shock value of its lyrics progressively undermines the penetrative lyrical wordplay that YUNGBLUD is capable of, coming across as juvenile rather than confronting.
His collaboration with Dan Reynolds plays better – an immediately engaging rhythm and confidence pulses throughout original me. The anticipatory bridge holds its breath for the raw vocals and satisfying punches of guitar and drums in the chorus; both artists seem comfortable producing catchy, fun alt-rock, deliberately and effectively utilising synths and auto-tune. Reynolds’ influence is clear but YUNGBLUD still achieves the originality he boasts of, with fast-paced verses in his distinctive Doncaster dialect distinguishing the song from an Imagine Dragons track.
'The playfully aggressive guitar and drums are at moments diminished by their correspondingly outrageous lyrics that slip from emotional sincerity to clichés of teenage angst'.
Ending with waiting on the weekend, YUNGBLUD allows his actual vocal power to shine through. The crooning and stripped back guitar are reminiscent of the early material from The Kooks, and hints at the growing maturity of a performer who is still developing their own artistic voice. Despite overindulging in youthful angst, it will be exciting to see how YUNGBLUD’s music evolves when he finally decides to come of age.