The smooth, albeit aimless sound of Young War’s newest EP provides a number of mixed feelings.
We all like to relax, kick back and chill out. Here, Young War have offered their solution to the ideal chilled experience with their new EP, ‘Trinity’.
As another Manchester band, Young War have veered off from the usual hard-hitting, guitar-filled sounds that Manchester is famed for, in favour of more relaxed pastures. Middle track ‘Eyes Closed’ slowly thumps through, clicking together like a thinned out tribute to chill-pop masters Miike Snow. Atmospheric to the max, you find yourself steadily bobbing away to a track filled with subtle synth lines, and soothing patterns.
Opening track ‘Darker Love’ plods along to a more sentimental timbre. Here, a theme can be easily sensed. Joining clapping beats with a gentle guitar arpeggio, and Theo Hutchcraft-esque vocals plainly pencil the track along on it’s merry way. Matching the mood of the backing track, the lyrics glimmer with a sexy disco-like pounce: “baby take it slow now, I wanna feel it from the start” and “when the whispers turn to screams, it wouldn’t hurt to do it right”. As this suggests, Young War’s sexy side is held very much in focus. They feel the heat of the dance floor, and project this through their music.
Ending where it started, the same formula is put in repeat with ‘By Now’, but with a bit more bass. Crashing piano chords, and rusty synth crackles. ‘By Now’ brings a solid end, to an overall uneasy EP. Whilst the record is vocally and melodically sound, each track still stutters into one another, like two strangers bumping shoulders. There’s hardly an end and hardly an intro, just an awkward stare and delayed apology.
There’s something hugely methodical about this EP. Something wrapped up in Young War’s velvet R&B sound. There’s something more behind that aching keyboard, and there’s certainly something behind those seductive vocals. Unfortunately, unearthing whatever this ‘something’ is is a different matter. Whilst the songwriting is crisp and brimming with sex appeal, one can’t help but feel that the market is missing a gap for this particular brand of soul music. In the end, it’s message is drowned out by its over production.
Whereas bands like Hurts, Miike Snow and Miami Horror offer more than just a sexy sounding piano and soft vocals, Young War are still held back by the delicate simplicity of their sound. Whilst it’s a steady creative product, the ‘Trinity’ EP is missing the key commercial ingredient to take Young War to the next level. Their niche has not quite been targeted, and therefore grasped. In essence, whilst ‘Trinity’ provides a relaxing, yet interesting sound, one can only weep as it drops into the mix of similar sounding recordings.
Ambivalent at best, ‘Trinity’ falls on its heels at my awkward conclusion. Whilst the EP sounds pooled with meaning, it seems to be sounding off into a dead end and onto deaf ears. Alas.