Album – Casino Twilight Dogs – Youth Group

Posted by admin on January 31st, 2007

Right off the bat, I have to say I was absolutely blown away by this album. What was all the more surprising, it was an album that came in unsolicited from my friends at Epitaph and is in fact on one of their sister labels, Anti. Youth Group are fairly big in Australia, having a #1 song there last year with “Forever Young”, which is actually on this, their third album. It’s also the track featured on the US TV show The OC.

The album opens with “On a String” and brings to mind the sound of Pink Floyd, especially on the Dark Side of the Moon, more specifically the more calming and melodic parts. This is a mellow track to be sure and is simply wonderful. The following track “Sorry”, is a much more pop/rock driven song, which reminds me of that great 90’s band, James. All these comparisons are not intended to detract from the bands wonderful sound, or even hint at any form of unoriginality, they are just my way of trying to describe a bands sound, without the benefit of actually playing the music to you.

I’d better start a new paragraph here, as you can probably tell this is going to be a long review. “Catching & Killing” opens with a not too surprisingly harder, almost punk feel to it, but manages to not cross the line and spiral out into another genre entirely. “Dead Zoo” again features those wonderful vocals, present throughout the album. It’s not often I would use the term beautiful to describe male vocals, but if ever there were a time to say it, it’s now.

“Under the Underpass” again has that James feel to it and further emphasises that this is very much an album of several flavors, but they are so wonderfully fused, This album feels very much like a masterpiece in the making. “Sicily” is a short song at a tad over 2 minutes. It is also a very simple song in both music and lyrics, but works so well. “Daisychains” continues this simplicity and funnily enough it’s exactly twice as long as the previous track. The only difference is that this track, musically escalates to a much busier sound. “Forever Young” is the previously mentioned track that reached #1 in the Youth Group’s home of Australia. A more fitting introduction to the Youth Group’s sound you probably couldn’t pick and is firmly entrenched as one of my favorite tracks on the album.

“Start Today Tomorrow” gave me an amazing sense of deja vu. I knew the song, even though I’d never heard it before. A really bizarre feeling I can tell you. “The Destruction of Laurel Canyon” is the longest track on this 12 track album and for some reason that didn’t surprise me, as from the opening few bars, you can pretty much tell this is going to be a relatively large sprawl of a track, but at the same time, like all of the tracks preceding it, a joy to listen to.

“TJ” has an almost folksy, storytelling feel to it. I can hear a multitude of different and eclectic artists covering it in my head. The final track “Christmas Windows” rounds the album off nicely, even with some fairly cliche phrases, which I’m sure I’ve heard in a few other songs, but hey if that’s the only thing I can find to pick on for this album, then that’s potatoes of the smallest kind.

Conclusion : In a single word. Stunning. Not only one of my favorite albums of this year, but also one of my all time favorite albums, reviewed ever. With a recommendation like that, what are you waiting for, go forth and purchase.

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