Young Widows
Old Wounds


4.5
superb

Review

by Jared W. Dillon USER (118 Reviews)
September 26th, 2008 | 60 replies | 13,958 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: a touching tale of modern america.

Louisville's music scene has always been seen as defining a more sophisticated version of aggression. Bands from the area tend to be associated with "math rock", a sound that groups like Rodan and Slint created in the early '90s. In the current music scene in Louisville applying this generic influence to a heavy base of post-hardcore seems to be the new style. Pusher, Breather Resist, these bands all represent an extremely noisy complex brand of hardcore that in today's climate is strikingly original. In turn the Louisville sound has provided the scene with a national following. Young Widows is perhaps the most esteemed collective in Louisville these days featuring the entire instrumental bulk of Breather Resist with guitarist Evan Patterson taking up vocal duties. Young Widows originally sounded like yet another Jesus Lizard clone on their debut 'Settle Down City', but with 'Old Wounds' they have crafted something between the stolid side of Fugazi and repetitive style of groups like the Melvins and Big Black.

'Old Wounds' begins with the pulsating bass tone of Nick Theineman. 'Took a Turn' is the opener and definitely one of the highlights with its perfectly composed dynamics. Patterson's guitar tone shows itself half way through the track in pure fabricated noise that shifts in and out of the music creating bursts of industrial sounding melody. 'Old Skin' follows showing the band hasn't lost any of their aggression from the Breather Resist days. Hammer ons and a relentlessly heavy beat from Jeremy McMonigle make the track an excellent transition from the more subdued intro. Speaking of the sound of this record Kurt Ballou and the band took a different approach to recording it as they recorded all of the songs both live and at Godcity Studios. I don't know how much this technique was used in terms of layering the record, but the production on this record is probably the best Ballou has done since 'The Moon is a Dead World'. Every tone on this record is absolutely pristine. 'The Guitar' which is built off simply chord strumming and Patterson's reminiscence on his instrument is accented by brilliant overlaying melodies that sound just as lush and distant as they would on a Ride album.

‘Old Wounds’ is strictly ‘90s influenced it seems. The ideas here are all from the last decade, but something feels different. Young Widows aren’t simply saying silence is a dangerous sound like those before them. ‘Old Wounds’ has crafted something desolate and fractured out of the past. The record sounds completely of this era and with its distant sound yet dark imagery crafts a perfect record for a nation and area that is suffering economic turmoil. In turn it should provide very little shock that the stories on this record seem like an update on Big Black’s ‘Songs About ***ing’ which came out during another Republican spawned economic crisis.

In terms of criticisms there are little. 'Old Wounds' represents a band feeling comfortable in their own skin and stretching out their ambitions. In return they've crafted an excellent sounding and composed post-hardcore record that has clearly been getting a deserved amount of acclaim. Perhaps 'Old Wounds' is not Young Widows' 'Liar', but as they continue to stretch their limbs into areas that aren't Jesus Lizard influenced their sound and persona swell. Suppose that should've been expected though since the band is from Louisville.



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user ratings (112)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
SpinLightTwo
September 26th 2008



1030 Comments


"Old Skin" is pretty tight.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
September 26th 2008



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ya the jury is out still out on this album for me. There are really cool elements but it just don't jive with it 100%.

NortherlyNanook
September 26th 2008



1285 Comments


Sounds like something I'd like. Will look into.

honourosis
September 26th 2008



63 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i've been meaning to check this out. i'll eventually give it a go.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2008



16083 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good band but whoah

flamethisuser
September 26th 2008



395 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

‘Old Wounds’ is strictly ‘90s influenced it seems

the obvious part of me feels like pointing out big black are strictly 80's, but that's just semantics. good review, I'm intrigued.

AtavanHalen
September 26th 2008



17927 Comments


Hmm, I think I'll have to listen to this.

Tyler
Emeritus
September 26th 2008



7926 Comments


Why is the band's name in lower case?

rasputin
September 26th 2008



14538 Comments


Band's probably trying to be 'different'.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2008



16083 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nah they refer to themselves as Young Widows in a lot of different places

foreverendeared
September 26th 2008



14678 Comments


i like how you talk about louisville a lot even though UofL just lost to UConn :[ born and raise in louisville baby. however:

In turn the Louisville sound has provided the scene with a national following. Young Widows is perhaps the most esteemed
i'd say My Morning Jacket is currently the most esteemedThis Message Edited On 09.26.08

francesfarmer
September 27th 2008



1477 Comments


These guys kill in concert, haven't heard this album yet though.

pixiesfanyo
September 27th 2008



1222 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

didn't realize My Morning Jacket plays post-hardcore. will change that immediately

foreverendeared
September 28th 2008



14678 Comments


didn't realize you were speaking exclusively post-hardcore with that sentence. will check my prescription

londoncalling457
September 28th 2008



2603 Comments


Listening to this now and it's pretty cool.

NortherlyNanook
September 28th 2008



1285 Comments


Yeah, I do like the older post hardcore sound that they utilize. Right now it's sitting at a 3.5, but that was after one listen.

iarescientists
September 28th 2008



5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i like how you talk about louisville a lot even though UofL just lost to UConn


sup

KittensandScorpions
September 28th 2008



172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I live in Louisville, and pretty much no one knows about bands like Slint and YW. The most popular "scene" among the youths is crappy death-metal or hardcore. It sucks real bad.

brandtweathers
September 30th 2008



2007 Comments


thanks for this suggestion

pixiesfanyo
October 1st 2008



1222 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i agree.



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