Back in May, UK-based rock group, Young Guns announced via that they parted way with their drummer, Ben Jolliffe. In a statement released on their Instagram, the band wrote:
We’ve been quiet for a few months now and in that time we have written and recorded our 4th album. We are ready once again to release new music and head back out on tour. To say we’re excited is an understatement. During this period we underwent some changes in camp YG and so now time has come for us to announce that we have parted ways with our drummer Ben. We have always been friends before band-mates and that will never change – our paths are simply headed in different directions and we agreed on this being the best thing to do for all of us. We wish him all the best. We can’t wait for this new chapter to begin and we are more excited and focussed than we’ve ever been before. We’re back. See you on the road! YG
Fast forward a few months and the guys are back with their new album, Echoes. The follow-up to 2015’s Ones and Zeroes was released a couple of days ago and true to their nature, the product is a mixture of styles and instrumentation.
While the term “Poppy” often has a negative connotation especially in the rock world, many of the songs featured on Echoes have a poppier sound to them. That is not necessarily a bad thing.
Utilizing a mix of synthesizers, hard-hitting drums, solid guitars, solos and incredibly rhythmic basslines, Young Guns have written a slew of new tracks that (by themselves) are very good, but lack a unified sound as a complete package.
The listener can quickly get the impression that the music is tugging back and forth between harder rock influences and synth-driven/electronic music.
Echoes begins with “Bulletproof”, the first single to be released. A punchy and upbeat tune, with a great melody and instrumentation. “Mad World” is easily my favorite song on the album. This song is a strong political statement with a heavy Muse influence. The electronic instrumentation is at it’s best here. Vocalist, Gustav Wood does a wonderful job of bringing all these sounds and styles together with powerful delivery and skillful lyric-writing.
The album ends on a low note. Well two actually. “Paradise” is a generic piano ballad and while it is a decent song, feels out of place alongside the more upbeat tracks; The album ends with “Afterglow”, which comes across as a weaker version of the other uptempo tracks on the album. It’s clear these guys have quite a bit of potential, and while Echoes is a good album, it lacks a concise direction and unified sound. I truly look forward to their next album and seeing what their newly updated lineup and bring together.