Youth in Revolt’s history has been anything but normal, but finally after 4 years of waiting, lineup changes, and an indefinite hiatus, their debut LP The Broken will be released on January 20th, 2017.
Although technically a follow up to their highly successful debut EP Love Is a Liars Game, I like to consider this record more of a new chapter for the band. While The Broken definitely has that signature Youth in Revolt pop-hardcore sound, something feels different on this record, and if you are a true fan of their earlier work, this album may rub you the wrong way.
Former lead vocalist True Arahill has left the band and has been replaced by Tanner Allen formerly of Brightwell, and while Allen does an admirable job of filling in the large shoes left behind by Arahill, replacing a lead singer always comes with its challenges and obstacles which are some of the most inherent and biggest flaws with The Broken.
The Broken Tracklist:
1) The Noise
2) Love is a Liar’s Game
3) Not Giving Up
4) The Broken
6) Don’t Wait for Me
7) There for You
8) I’m not Scared
11) Only One
The album opens up with “The Noise” which kicks things off with heavy riffs and beats that you would come to expect from a Youth in Revolt song, but the moment the verse and vocals come in, you can immediately hear the difference. Aside from Allen’s voice being slightly higher and a bit more pop sounding than Arahill’s, the tracks themselves are much more produced. These 2 things combined are more than enough to take away any authenticity an older Youth in Revolt fan may be waiting to hear on this record. With that being said, if you do go into this album with an open mind, you will be treated to some awesome breakdowns, screams, and catchy choruses that are guaranteed to have you head banging your night away.
You can get a taste of their new lineup and sound from their latest music video for the title track of the record.
Musically, the band is incredibly tight on the record and The Broken serves up some very interesting ideas about combining genres that kept me truly entertained throughout most of the record. Despite this, some of my favorite moments on the record actually occur when the band commits to one style of music entirely because they execute it to near perfection. Whether that happens during breakdowns with Torres’ powerful screams, or during some verses or choruses with Allen’s more pop side, these are the moments when the record truly shines its best. Stand out tracks for me that truly put this on full display are “Sleep,” “Love is a Liar’s Game,” “Don’t Wait for Me,” and “The Noise.” The trouble occurs when hardcore meets pop, and it really makes it feel as if the band themselves are suffering from a bit of identity crisis.
The Broken is a fun album that definitely rocks as well. You won’t find any deep, meaningful lyrics that will touch your soul, or any groundbreaking ideas that will leave you in awe, but what you will find are catchy songs that are executed with precision and intensity that will make you want to have a good time. Youth in Revolt have gone a bit of transformation during their career and this change of identity is definitely reflected in the music on the record. While combining 2 genres isn’t done as well as it has been done by Youth in Revolt in the past, the styles on their own more than warrant appreciation.
For these reasons, I am going to give The Broken a 7.8/10.
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