AlbumsNovember 29, 20117,322 views

The Young And The Useless A Smile Is No Good For Me


Our score 7

by Alex
8/31/2002

For some reason when I initially heard the name The Young and the Useless, I immediately assumed they were a pop-punk band. For this lame reason, their release sat on our pile a bit longer than most before being listened to. As you may have guessed, my preconceived notions were without merit, and these guys really have nothing to do with the aforementioned genre. Anyway, here we are several months later and I've finally decided to write a review (some turnaround time, huh). By now I've listened to this CD dozens of times, in several different locations, and in varying moods, so I have plenty of perspective when it comes to this album. While they don't do pop-punk, they do play hardcore. And they've definitely got some subtle diversity; not the kind of diversity attributed to bands that throw a jazz lick in the middle of a hardcore song, but rather the kind that comes with sticking to one style for the majority of a song, but not an entire album. More often than not, TYATU play traditional hardcore, with fast-paced beats and screamed vocals. Notably, the record is essentially devoid of technical hardcore and metal, which I suppose makes it an oddity when compared to most of the material we receive. The first track, "He Is Not Here, For He Has Risen," clearly establishes the band's stylistic foundation, with its no-frills, yet sharp hardcore, in the vein of American Nightmare, or much of the Bridge Nine Records roster. The next track is more of the same, with an old-school middle section and several dramatic tempo shifts. With the exception of the screamy vocals, the third track, "Breaking, One Beat A Time," sounds more or less like a different band. This time around they're delivering a roomier emotional hardcore sound, not unlike Shai Hulud, complete with some catchy guitar leads and even a short mathrock breakdown. The best part of the song is the memorable, slowed-down section towards the end, which features a heartfelt chord progression and appropriately enthusiastic vocals, all before fading out with some acoustic guitar. "The Anthem" sees the return of more straight-up hardcore while the next track, "It Hurt, But It's Over, And So Are We," really demonstrates what these guys are capable of. The song contains solid doses of hardcore, a brief electronics part (ala The Rise), and a great youth-crew styled singing part (I don't know what to call it), which is rather enjoyable. Following three mediocre tracks, "Money Hungry Girls" (I wish they would do away with those laughing vocal parts), "Some Benefits Of Serious Thinking" (not bad, just doesn't really go anywhere), and "My Feelings For You Exist No More," the band finishes up the record with two great tracks. First up is "An Explanation Is Worthless," predominately a fast hardcore piece, but full of interesting guitar harmonies (check out the cool beginning) and musical nuances. Finally, "You're Only Young Once" closes out the album in blazing fashion. This fast and angry song showcases more of TYATY's mature hardcore skills. I'm sure this one would be fun to witness live, with plenty of places to go nuts. My only problem with this song is its brevity, but then again, this is hardcore, and short songs are often par for the course. The artwork, by none other than Derek Hess, is pretty wild, and the recording is good. The guitars sound a bit too dry at times, but it's no big deal. Bottom Line: This is just a solid release all around. Anybody who likes energetic, aggressive hardcore with screamy vocals will certainly enjoy this album, especially those searching for something slightly atypical. Personally, I'm truly looking forward to future material from these guys.

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