It’s been onwards and upwards for High Wycome quintet Young Guns. This time last year, the band had barely unleashed their highly-successful debut EP Mirrors, and now the world is treated to the real deal, something highly anticipated. A full-length has been on the cards for a while, and while opting to release it on their own grounds may be a risky move for them – if it sounds anywhere near as good as is expected – it’ll be a very clever move indeed.
All Our Kings Are Dead is as massive as they come, proving within the first few minutes as the band go all guns-blazing into Sons Of Apathy‘s heavy bassline and grand, anthemic gang chorus. The difference between the almost hour’s worth of material on here, and the sixteen minutes of Mirrors, is that the EP was quickfire, and very accessible. This, on the other hand, is a more sublime, crafted beast – there are tracks that really take some listens to get into fully, and it’s a much bigger and better gift once that secret has been cracked, Meter & Verse and the sing-along Stitches standing out as the main culprits in this department.
A cheeky re-work of Weight Of The World manages to find it’s way onto the album, and it still fits right in at home. Luckily, there’s still more than enough new material, twelve tracks really wetting the music buds – something bands releasing records really skimp out on these days. One niggle in a couple of songs comes in the form of singer Gustav Wood’s vocal production – it feels a bit echoey in parts – though it may well be an attempt to make the songs sound “bigger”, it’s simply not needed – Gus has a fantastic voice, and it needs more moments to shine cleanly, like old single Winter Kiss, which also gets an outing on the record.
The great thing about Young Guns, is that for a straight-up rock band, they’ve got a very individual sound – it’s hard to pinpoint them, and that’s what really makes this record so exciting. There’s slow moments, massive riffs aplenty ie. the huge-sounding Elements, and simply great pop-rock songs, like current single Crystal Clear, which really showcases the band and makes them an all the more special prospect.
It’s clear that All Our Kings Are Dead is going to do some massive things for this band, and greatly deserved too – they haven’t gone out to sell records through a name, they’ve worked at it with some simply fantastic songs, and this record, the culmination of the fruits of their labour, is going to put them in a completely different ballpark. Absolutely flawless!
– George Cannings.
All Our Kings Are Dead is self-released July 12th!