mon 25/01/2021

Album: Yungblud - Weird! | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Yungblud - Weird!

Album: Yungblud - Weird!

Pop-punky Brit singer's second album sounds fizzy and enormous but lacks rebel spirit

The many faces of Yungblud

Doncaster musician Dominic Harrison – Yungblud – appeared a couple of years ago, a self-proclaimed punk, alive with vim and righteousness, touting music that, loosely speaking, fused the snarling northern outrage of Arctic Monkeys with hip hop-tinted power-pop.

Doncaster musician Dominic Harrison – Yungblud – appeared a couple of years ago, a self-proclaimed punk, alive with vim and righteousness, touting music that, loosely speaking, fused the snarling northern outrage of Arctic Monkeys with hip hop-tinted power-pop. It was a lively combination and his debut album, 21st Century Liability, had its moments. Since then, his profile has raised dramatically, a cult Gen Z figurehead, his appearance an impressive, sexually fluid spin on Keith out of The Prodigy. This album could be the one that supernovas him – it’s catchy enough – but it does so by teetering on the cusp, tonally, between Sheeran-land and somewhere more interesting.

The music veers all over the place in true 2020 magpie style, from the shouty and enjoyable “Super Dead Friends”, which sounds a bit like Noughties electro-punk shoulda-beens The Deathset, to the dire stadium ballad “Love Song”. The dominant vibe, however, is as if the shiniest, most multi-tracked songs by pop-metallers Bring Me The Horizon (with whom Yungblud has worked) had crashed into Oasis’s gigantic chord changes and terrace anthem choruses, the whole lot smothered in candied, lightly Autotuned, daytime Radio One production.

The lyrics are best summed up by the opening verse of “Ice Cream Man”: “Sitting on my own again/Wondering what all my friends did last night/They think that I hate them/’Cause I haven’t sent them a text in two days”. Songs such as “The Freakshow”, “God Save Me”, and the title track are trite self-empowerment epics for those huddled young masses rendered anxiety-laden by social media reality ("Mars" is a more likeable, less bombastic sally into similar territory).

Meanwhile, those themes aside, there are a few sappy love songs, lyrically not far removed from One Direction territory. There’s nothing here that’s going to make any government or authority figure flinch even slightly. In punk, terms, then, it’s wet; it makes Jamie T look like Crass.

In pop terms, however, it does its job, more content for Yungblud’s overall brand. He’s a mouthpiece who may be worth watching. The music is only a fraction of what anyone who cares about him cares about.

Below: Watch the video for "Mars" by Yungblud

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