[sic] Magazine

Young Widows – Easy Pain

You’ve got the track-by-track reviewer. The lyric nerd. The abstract and/or tangential. Those that analyse emotionally as well as many others. Ordinarily I seek to keep a distance between reviewer and review (you won’t find much first person in a piece of mine), but not today because, for me, Kentucky trio Young Widows haven’t seen the plaudits their now-four LP careers deserves. Our circles, and by extension others too I’m guessing, very rarely overlap and it’s a shame because their erstwhile brand of melodic post-hardcore is right up many an alley.

Easy Pain is the band’s attempt to remedy this subjective anonymity. To these ears, it’s immediately the band at their most commercially appealing. Amongst other things, it means their hooks – and there are plenty of them – are no longer used to hang dead animals. And I can’t quite shake the Alex Kapranos thing either. On “Kerosene Girl”, Evan Patterson, a glitzy mid-2000s New Wave revival stomp behind him, struts his angles like he’s in an indie disco. Don’t let any of that put you off though pop haters because it’s still got something and so does the rest of the LP. It’s just that now every time the band wind up to something they nasty they sidestep it like some kind of noise-rock prick-tease.

It’s not all bad news though. For the most part, “Godman” and “Bird Feeder” blend filthy, crunching riffs with a Blues-rock wail before lurching into sludgy high-end contortions something like those of Clockcleaner. The black-hearted “Cool Night” twangs with cold post-punk manoeuvres while its heavy-echoed drums thud like a body being dragged downstairs. With a chug and yelp borrowed from the likes of Dope Body “Gift Of Failure” in turn revels in the band’s trademark chunky bass. And the meandering Goth-lite opening to atmospheric closer “The Last Young Widow” is pretty sweet too. Still, it turns out Young Widows were more appealing as an acquaintance than a friend all the same. Pity.

Best tracks: “Gift Of Failure” and “Kerosene Girl”.

~Easy Pain is released 12th May 2014 on Temporary Residence.~