Cheshire’s Blitz Kids aren’t exactly new faces on the British Rock scene, for the last few years they’ve put in the hard time touring with almost every one of their bigger name peers. Through much of that time it seemed like they may remain stuck with the ‘up and comers but not quite the big time’ label, often better known for their boozy laddish behaviour and twitter banter than their actual music.
Now, with the release of debut full length ‘The Good Youth’, all that changes because the kids have come good; very, very good in fact.
It’s generally accepted that the sign of a good album is that any of the tracks could be a single, and that is most definitely the case with ‘The Good Youth’, no track here would sound out of place on any of the nation’s major rock radio stations. From the rousing gang vocals in the opening seconds of ‘All I Want Is Everything’, Joey, Jono and co grab the listener’s attention firmly by the scruff of the neck and do their damndest not to let go.
That doesn’t mean every track is the same cookie cutter slice of in your face big ballsy, anthemic rock; it isn’t. At the same time that’s not to say that there aren’t big, big choruses in spades, but there are some subtle and well placed changes of pace too.
Scattered throughout the album there are flashes of a tenderness, maturity and introverted self-examination that belies Blitz Kids’ laddish lager loving reputation. ‘Long Road’ see’s the band dwelling on the perils and hardships of destructive friendships, while ‘Keep Swinging’ gives an unexpected look at mortality and the importance of self-belief.
The tracks ‘Run For Cover’, ‘On My Own’ and ‘Sometimes’, see Blitz Kids at their up-tempo, fist pumping, shout along best, whilst ‘Perfect’ features a driving electronic riff fighting for attention with the guitars in one of the album’s stand out moments.
Credit also needs to be given to frontman Joe James for a sterling show stealing vocal performance. James absolutely sings his boots off on every track showing an impressive range and pushing the power of his voice to its limits. Well done sir.
‘The Good Youth’ neatly encapsulates everything that is so bloody brilliant about the key sounds of radio ready UK rock in 2014. It’s instantly accessible, infinitely memorable and should provide the soundtrack for some killer live shows when the band hit the road this month.
‘The Good Youth’ by Blitz Kids is out now on Red Bull Records.
Words by Dane Wright (@MrDaneWright)