Young Guns
Bones


3.5
great

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
February 9th, 2012 | 82 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Unless a certain TV series exposes ‘Bones’, Young Guns won’t fill arenas just yet.

It may admittedly be personal preference which dictates such an opinion, but it has always surprised just how few rock bands play a huge, anthemic style that should appeal to a mass worldwide audience. Fear of personal preservation in taking on the big boys is an issue, but it only takes a few songs of such a sound to catch on, and a band could be filling arenas just like Muse and Kings of Leon... Or better yet, filling stadiums like Foo Fighters, Green Day and U2. Sure, each of these success stories put their own distinctive stamp on the formula, and it is this integral quality which usually proves the stumbling block for up-and-comers. From the very beginning of their career, it has been crystal clear that English quintet Young Guns have wished to join such outfits, and they got off to an excellent start with debut LP ‘All Our Kings are Dead’. Coming off as a heavier, more atmospheric Lostprophets, a detailed and well-crafted lyrical and musical edge appeared to be the band’s secret ingredient... One they look to hone on second LP ‘Bones’.

Far from being a re-tread of its predecessor, ‘Bones’ mixes things up by using a change of theme to drive a growth in sound. Whereas the debut used motifs of war & rebellion as the catalyst for an aggressive edge, one look at this track-list gives away themes of death and making the most of one’s life. This alternately gives off a dark - yet uplifting - mood, which ultimately results in ‘Bones’ not being as immediate as ‘All Our Kings Are Dead’, but having a growth factor that is just as effective. ‘Learn My Lesson’ spotlights this with its huge sound initially overwhelming its hooks, which do not quite befit its designation as lead single for such an anthemic release. Better showcases of the quintet’s style of rock are the rollicking ‘Brother In Arms’, the dual guitar driven opener ‘I Was Born, I Have Lived, I Will Surely Die’, and the massive title track, which contains that difficult to pinpoint atmosphere right from its opening notes... Not to mention a rousing call & response chorus, and a fantastic guitar solo and accompanying drum barrage.

While often slick and crisp, the production courtesy of Dan Weller (guitarist of progressive metal band SikTh) always flows well and does a great job in giving off a live vibe, pushing Gustav Wood’s vocals to soaring heights. Wood not only has a strong, commanding voice, but also has the quality of conviction. His passionate delivery of lyrics revolving around themes of regret, reflection and motivation overcome the arguably clichéd words used (see the aforementioned opener and ‘Brother In Arms’). He also handles both loud and quiet moments with confidence, the latter of which surface frequently to give ‘Bones’ some much-needed – if polarizing – diversity. The atmosphere turns to solemn on short interludes ‘A Hymn For All I’ve Lost’ and ‘Interlude’, both of which unfortunately sound like failed longer tracks, while the now customary epic closer ‘Broadfields’ runs the gamut of emotions, even allowing Wood to brandish his falsetto.

So, will ‘Bones’ be the album which catapults Young Guns from playing clubs to packing arenas? Unless a certain television series ditches their The Crystal Method theme and exposes the title track to an instant worldwide audience of over ten million, then the answer is no... Not just yet. While it contains next to no filler, includes a sufficient amount of enjoyable anthems, and is musically accomplished (Ben Jolliffe’s drums are especially impressive, the dual guitar attack is competent and the sparingly used keys are wise), ‘Bones’ is predominantly a consolidatory release. Continuing to establish their anthemic sound, while branching out carefully, should hopefully provide a stepping stone for the band to hit a home run (or should that read “six”) some time in the future. For the time being, fans of driving, contemporary hard-rock with a melodic tilt – especially the more patient listeners - should find plenty to shout along to here. “I feel it in my bones... BONES”.

Recommended Tracks: Bones, Brother In Arms, I Was Born I Have Lived I Will Surely Die & Dearly Departed.



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user ratings (103)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
fish CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
Although not quite as solid as their debut, Young Guns' sophomore effort is an enjoyable record whic...


Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A case could be made that this is objectively a 3, but I let this sink in a little and it surprisingly had a positive effect. I’m glad I did now.

NorwichScene
February 9th 2012


1498 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Perfect review! Exactly how I feel about this album


Digging: From Indian Lakes - Able Bodies

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks NS. Unsure I added much to what Fishy said, but we sort of arrived at the same destination from slightly different directions.

NorwichScene
February 9th 2012


1498 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

At least they are trying to push themselves with this album. YG and Deaf Havana started off very similar in making a name for themselves, now they will try and make albums made for the big arenas instead of having to play tiny venues.

As you say, this isn't quite there yet and they are still trying to make there stuff heard (Bones was played on Radio 1 yesterday). Hopefully this will catch on with our American friends..

AlecBaldwin
February 9th 2012


147 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

'should hopefully provide a stepping stone for the band to hit a home run (or should that read “six”)'

Nice cricket reference.

The review is excellent. Kudos

sspedding
February 9th 2012


4782 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Dunno if I'd consider All Our Kings are dead to be heavier or more atmospheric than Start Something but agree with everything else. Good stuff.

Digging: Devil Sold His Soul - Belong ? Betray

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
February 9th 2012


22034 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A case could be made that this is objectively a 3, but I let this sink in a little and it surprisingly had a positive effect.

Pretty much the same thing with me. The only song I enjoyed first listen through was the title track. Although they're already growing off me a bit, much quicker than AOKAD.

Your review's better written than mine anyway, lol

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
February 9th 2012


7404 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Great review as ever, I really didn't like this, though.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Even with the song 'Bones' NS, I don't think it's the most immediate of tracks. Absolutely love it now, so I hope casual listeners give it a chance.

Thanks Daniel. Thought about not mentioning "home run" at all, but then half the readers would have no idea whatsoever.

Can see what you mean ss, but will stick to the comment. Nothing too heavy or atmospheric about 'Last Train Home'... It's just damn brilliant.

Yours is good Fishy... Don't put yourself down.

Thanks Ali. Tbh, I don't think you'll be the only one finding this a little (for want of a better word) bland. Was probably trying to get that across in the concluding paragraph.

Timmons
February 9th 2012


561 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

such a good band. uuuuggghhh

Timmons
February 9th 2012


561 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the quiet outro to the title track is so nice.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
February 9th 2012


7404 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah bland's a pretty good description of how I feel about this. Bands who right music like this usually have at least a few really catchy songs but there was nothing at all here that caught my attention, even after three spins.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The intro, the outro & the whole of the in-between of title track is so nice.

Sort of what i was trying to get at in my intro Ali. I reckon it would only take 1 wisely placed song for this band to really catch fire.

sspedding
February 9th 2012


4782 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Point taken about the atmosphere but I can't have it being heavier than Start Something, listening to 10 seconds of We Are
Godzilla, You Are Japan kinda puts that into perspective. However the comment doesn't refer to which album and the fact
is every album following Start Something was quite a bit softer so fair play.

Acanthus
February 9th 2012


9545 Comments


TBH the title track really reminded me of Nickelback sadly.

Digging: MO - No Mythologies To Follow

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

SS, I could get you on a technicality & say 'Godzilla' was not on the album proper! Hehe.

No Acanthus, just no. My proof: If that was indeed the case, then Young Guns would be a lot more successful than they are.

Acanthus
February 9th 2012


9545 Comments


Hahaha you might have a point there, I also got a bit of Sick Puppies vibe too.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hmm, hadn't thought of Sick Puppies... Probably because their last album made me want to forget them. I'd agree that they sound similar when Sick Puppies try for the big catchy anthems.

Acanthus
February 9th 2012


9545 Comments


Girlfriend is a fan of them so I linked her the title track, she's adding these guys to her Pandora station.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2012


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

DaveyBoy: The staff member whose reviews are usually passed straight on through to Sputnik users' girlfriends!

And don't say 'Pandora', because every time I see/hear that word, the Madina Lake song gets stuck in my head for a day.



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