[sic] Magazine

Yung – A Youthful Dream

The problem with naming your band Yung is that it’ll likely get old as you start getting on a bit. Time is very much still on this Aarhus four-piece’s side (their firebrand frontman Mikkel Holm Silkjær is still just 21), but you can hear them growing up on A Youthful Dream all the same. Interested in the fluid nature of punk and its subdivisions, it’s an album that continues with the bleak dissonance of previous releases while branching out into increasingly melodic material that’s richer in scope and instrumentation. Aggression still reigns for the most part, however, nimble riffs picked out of the noise and a constant amidst the volatile tempos. Yet, in the place of the arch misanthropy of better-known Danish punk bands, Tobias Guldborg Tarp’s oppressive bass-lines and Frederik Nybo Veile’s keening drum battery often deliver the scruffy tumble of indie-punk you might associate with a label like Art Is Hard instead.

Silkjær’s irresistibly serrated sneer remains a highlight, slicing like a garrotte through post-HC and fuzz-rock alike. Put it altogether though and something often seems missing. Silkjær can salvage a track like “A Bleak Incident” with his cracking vocal – one of only four over three mins in length – but the general lack of intensity makes it a more difficult sell than it should be. And it’s funny how a wildly retro track like “Commercial” can run so short in running time only to seem much longer. Lead single “Pills”, too, trades its likeable back-and-forth off against overly lethargic lyrics and drums that promise much but don’t see it through. Its chorus line is repeated time and again to try and set the thing alight but these sparks are falling on damp tinder.

Of the band’s new directions, “Morning View” jars with the introduction of blissful piano. This is a band that to date has thrived at the more dangerous end of the spectrum, so when weary trumpets round out “The Child” the effect is classy but uneventful – a missed opportunity that’s as disappointing as it frustrating. A Youthful Dream does, mercifully, compensate with a strong finale, the most vibrant parts of a dream coming right before you wake. Injecting the sort of bouncing energy sorely absent elsewhere, pretty guitar lines are the sweet centre to the raw, enveloping feedback of “Blanket” while the standout “The Sound Of Being Okay” needles in and out of focus impressively. It’s ultimately too little too late, though, and while you can’t blame the young for being overly optimistic, this is a daydream in pointed need of becoming a noisy nightmare.

Best track: “The Sound Of Being Okay”

~A Youthful Dream is released June 10th 2016 via Fat Possum/Tough Love.~