Группа Youth Group была прежде всего известна по участии в Warped Tour 2005 Compilation (CD 2)
и саундтреки к молодежному сериалу Одинокие сердца или Однажды в Калифорнии (The O.C.).
Toby Martin - Guitar/Vocals
Danny Allen - Drums
Cameron Emerson-Elliott - Guitar
Patrick Matthews - Bass
For their new record, The Night Is Ours, Australian stars Youth Group decided to forgo the more traditional approach employed for their previous records. Over the period of a couple of months in late 2007, the band holed up in a near-derelict 1920s mess hall on Sydney’s harbor. They decided against traditional studio procedures and turned the vacated building into a studio, bringing in all of their own gear to create an inimitable recording environment which allowed them to work at their own pace.
As bassist Patrick Matthews explains, “We also deliberately waited until we were in our studio and worked them up one at a time till we had them finished and recorded, so that the moment of creation was also the moment of recording. With the last record we found that some of the early demos had a spark that couldn’t be recreated in the final studio.”
This space allows for a record, that, albeit full of polished songs that stay stuck in your head for days, captures a kind of emotional intimacy that can often be lost in post-production. This is music built around strong hooks and insightful verses, bringing to mind bands like the Replacements, the Smiths, and fellow Aussies the Church and the Triffids, as well as contemporaries like Death Cab For Cutie, the Shins, Coldplay, Snow Patrol and Ra Ra Riot. It’s melody-driven rock that puts frontman Toby Martin’s clear, expressive voice at the forefront of the songs without taking away from the band’s masterful instrumental work.
“A metaphor for the music we made,” continues Matthews, “could be found in the visual surrounds. We were away in a backwater of the Harbor, with lantana creeping over the empty space of industrial ruins and no neighbors in sight after dark. The songs we recorded had a sense of place: a creepy low-key anxiety, a door closing far away, a drone that sounds as a ship’s horn does.”
This can all be clearly felt in The Night Is Ours. In “Dying At Your Own Party,” for example, Martin’s voice takes on an air of resigned desperation as he sings “no one on the deck has even noticed I’m gone at all” before launching into an urgent chorus, while “Two Sides,” which incorporates careful synths and the almost Joy-Division-esque call of “I’m looking for oblivion.” Even the lighter-sounding songs - “Babies In Your Dreams,” for instance, which mixes English folk traditions with warm brass - have a melancholy that lies underneath them, maintaining, even strengthening, the album’s introspective mood.
The Night Is Ours is an impressive, memorable release from a band whose reputation is so strong that Gossip Girl already featured “What Is A Life” before the record had even come out in America. In short, it’s an album whose songs are both accessible and mature, catchy and intricate, an album that finds Youth Group at the pinnacle of their creative powers and of the life of the band itself.