Album Review: Young Guns – Ones And Zeros

In the boiling pot of British bands doing the rounds right now, few really manage to break into the wider accepted mainstream scene. Lower Than Atlantis and Twin Atlantic have both respectively broken into the realms of daytime radio play and sell out tours in the past year after careers of hard graft and commitment and the future is looking increasingly exciting for both. Though when it comes to Young Guns, they have been skirting round the edge of bigger and brighter things for a long time with relative ease almost waiting for the break on their own terms. 2012’s critically acclaimed album ‘Bones’ saw ears prick up and take notice of what the band will do next. Though rather than rushing out a follow up, Gus Wood and friends have taken their time and the result is ‘Ones And Zeros’. The question now is whether the patience will pay off in the form of an album that will take them up to the next level.

The most notable quality of ‘Ones And Zeros’ is its straightforward accessibility. Not hiding behind a wall of complication and pretention each song on the album is overflowing with piercing hooks, stirring ambience and choruses made for lodging themselves in your frontal lobe. Opener ‘Rising Up’ is a call to arms of rapturous beats and choral chants while ‘I Want Out’ shapes heartbreak into a thoroughly intense beast. Young Guns have developed a knack over their career for making catchy music effortlessly and the tight unity displayed on the gloriously anthemic ‘Infinity’, gently beautiful ‘Lullaby’ and playfully moving ‘Momento Mori’ are a credit to the band who have sharpened their strengths down to a fine point and put everything they have into making their music as memorable as it is rousing.

Things continue in similar vein with the loose ballsy crunch of ‘Speaking In Tongues’ and ‘Colourblind’ fiddling about with EDM-esque synths beneath its sharp corners. Being so consistently engaging and freely expressive while sticking to your original blueprint and avoiding being monotonous is no easy feat to accomplish over the length of a whole album, but against those odds Young Guns have put together a set of songs that hold little to no filler and don’t feel tiresome or forced be it the first or fourth listen. The band knows exactly what they are about and don’t attempt to be something they are not which is the downfall of many a band and artist.

The end of the record sees the band going out with a pleasant boom with ’Gravity floating about with dreamy intentions and powerful melodies before the closing title track sees the drama out with euphonious bounce and gorgeously elevated guitars.

Without succumbing to the pressures of hype and expectation Young Guns have focused all of their energy into creating an album of atmospherically stirring rock songs brimming wih poignancy, depth and stadium bothering melody and come out the other end even stronger. With the level of passion and ability the band expel on ‘One And Zeros’ it would verge on criminal if they were not the next band to help again break down the barriers between rock and the wider industry and unite everybody in musical harmony. We can dream can’t we?

4/5

‘Ones And Zeros’ by Young Guns is out now on Virgin EMI (UK) / Wind Up Records (US).

Young Guns links: Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)

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