Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Younger Youth Hip (-Hop) to the Old-School

November 1, 2007

Younger Youth Hip (-Hop) to the Old-School

Most musical acts today have aspirations of greatness, which are ultimately defined by varying levels of commercial success, but the members of the L.A.-based band Younger Youth have no plans to quit their day jobs. However, come closing time, Younger Youth just wants the masses to experience their eclectic musical stylings.

Self-described as indie rock/afro beat, singer Matthew Muller, drummer Casey Ryder and bassist Paul Ron Rivera approach music as a form of recreation, free of strict touring schedules and major labels with reps who have nothing but dollar signs in their eyes.

In addition to having fun by playing music and performing live, Ryder describes the band as “a different creative release.”

This “release” is currently taking the form a Hip-Hopesque mixtape project.

“Along with polished, fully-realized albums, we want to release all the stuff we are stoked about but just wouldn’t work on the record or maybe didn’t come to fruition as a full song,” Muller said.

The band plans to go old school with the project by trying to make the mixtape something you gave somebody you care about.

“[It’s] not like nowadays where you have all of your music [on a computer], and you search for song titles and burn a CD,” Muller said.

In keeping up with the band’s overall intention of having fun while producing meaningful music, the project will have a natural flow as opposed to a pre-meditated, paint-by-numbers process.

“I don’t want to make the mixtape something that is formulaic in nature, I want it to be something that flows in an appropriate way,” Muller said.

Along with the intangible youthful expression of love and friendship the project will represent, the band members hope to physically exude that tear-inducing nostalgia via vinyl, cassette and possibly even 8-track formats.

Continuing with the old school element, Muller equates the project with the work ethic of punk bands in the ‘70s.

“The pinnacle year of punk rock, 1977, saw two albums each from The Jam, Iggy, The Ramones and The Stranglers,” Muller said. “You rarely, if ever, see feats like that anymore.”

For those wanting a taste of Younger Youth, the single, “The Only Ones” is currently available on iTunes. Muller perfectly matches the intense, yet radio-friendly guitar and drums with his Bono-esque wail, making for a simultaneously powerful and catchy tune.

David Miller

thedavid@independentclauses.com

A Second Chance

January 20, 2004

If I were asked to give a definition of an ideal emo band, I’d have two definitions:

1.        A slightly dark fusion of rock, hardcore, and punk, played by white guys with two guitars, aggressive rhythm section, and a singer with a solid voice and emotional problems.

2.        A Second Chance.

Yes, A Second Chance personifies emo to me. There is no genre-mixing here. This is straight-up emo, the way it should be. And it rocks hard. All four songs on this EP are fantastic, and fantastically memorable (Yes, you can have a song that sounds awesome, yet is hard to remember – see Modest Mouse for details).

Take “My Silhouette” for example. One of the best songs here, it is also the best display of their sound: a driving, dual guitar attack: solid, haunting vocals accompanied by occasional well-placed screams; excellent drumming; and fist-raising, scream-along passion. Any of those things separately could catch my attention, but together, they make this impossible to pass up. Another plus is the fact that use their screamer as tactfully as I have ever seen. He is used enough that he is not ignored, but not too much that he is overexposed. It’s just enough to give an extra punch of adrenaline to all songs.

While “My Silhouette” is good, it’s not the only song here. “You Tell a Tale” starts out tough, but drops down to a delicate bridge before exploding into back the most emotionally chaotic minute of the album, with three singers each singing their hearts out over crashing, wild riffs.

A Second Chance is one fantastic emo band. This CD is the first excellent CD I’ve heard this year, and all others will be measured against ASC’s brilliant EP. This CD will be a jewel in any emo lover’s crown, and I can’t WAIT for their next album.

www.ascrock.com www.purevolume.com/asecondchance

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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