Gang Of Youths
Let Me Be Clear


4.0
excellent

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
July 31st, 2016 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Living with our strange diseases

It can't be easy for a band so early in their career to feel the awful spectre of "how can they follow this up" as Gang of Youths must. Their debut The Positions was better than any Australian rock record in 2015 had any right to be, coming across like the tragic subject matter of the Antlers' Hospice told with the self-deprecating, brutally honest writing of Matthew Berninger or Jerry Jones. Gang of Youths exploded the scene with David Le'aupepe's autobiographical lyricism and their twisting of raucous rock-and-roll into six-to-seven minute mammoths which don't crescendo so much as erupt, spewing forth buzzsaw guitar lines and Le'aupepe's impassioned yelps.

Album (or career) highlight "The Good Fight" takes its delicate time with a soft, heavily stringed four-and-a-half-minute beginning inching slowly towards an explosion. Le'aupepe sounds like a man possessed as he screams declarations of his anti-materialistic philosophy that's been forming since "Poison Drum", if not before. In fact, without the story of his former girlfriend's cancer diagnosis to drive this EP like it drove The Positions, Le'aupepe is freer to indulge in his no-bull***, uniquely Australian philosophising, and the lyrics on Let Me Be Clear are all the better and more cutting for it. It doesn't hurt that he's one of the best singers in the game right now, channelling Dustin Kensrue's gravelly beauty on "A Sudden Light" and switching capably between a smooth falsetto and razor-sharp emotional wails as the music demands it.

The expectation of sophomore slump can be enough by itself to throw off the career of the most promising bands, and it would have been easy for Gang of Youths to keep churning out string-tinged rock songs along the lines of "Magnolia" for the foreseeable future. Instead, from the day they released the delicate two-minute piano ballad "Riverlands" as a single they've shown an insatiable thirst to keep building and transforming their sound. No other band at the moment is giving rock the shot in the arm it needs; get to Let Me Be Clear before Triple J does and bask in its slow, vicious glory.



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user ratings (10)
Chart.
3.6
great
recommended by reviewer
The National Alligator

Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2016


38104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

get on this bros

Hawks
July 31st 2016


48113 Comments


The National in the rec section yeah I need this.

Digging: Jesu - Jesu

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2016


38104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

they're not all that similar musically but as far as songwriting goes it's the closest I could get. I'm terrible at rec sections honestly

BlushfulHippocrene
July 31st 2016


1028 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

At first I didn't love this apart from The Good Fight and its insane climax, but I liked their debut a lot and this is a great review, so going to give it another shot.

Digging: NAH - HIVER EN NEUF MORCEAUX

iloveyouall
July 31st 2016


6319 Comments


pls no rowan, they're nice guys, but they suck sooooo HARD

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2016


38104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks Blushful! Good Fight is definitely the best song on here but it's all quality, Still Unbeaten Life is beaut



@sach get outta here you cheeky sod

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
July 31st 2016


4678 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This sounds awesome actually; tenuous link perhaps, but I've been jamming a lot of The Smith Street Band recently (...again) and this sounds kinda of the same ilk, perhaps? Great review too, love some of your descriptors :]

iloveyouall
July 31st 2016


6319 Comments


ok goodbye

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2016


38104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

GoY songs are a lot slower in tempo and have more of a build to them. But I guess it's not too far of a conclusion to draw. At the very least they're two of the best aussie bands operating now. thanks bud

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
July 31st 2016


4678 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

'The Good Fight' is giving me a whole thump of 'fuck yes', so I'm optimistic for the rest of this :]

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2016


38104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's all pretty great. Native Tongue and Strange Diseases are the closest it gets to generic rock and even then Le'aupepe is amazing enough to save them (the ending of Native Tongue is incredible) and then a Sudden Light and Unbeaten Life are just straight up gorgeous. definitely check their debut album though because this is really just an add-on to that!

Archelirion
Contributing Reviewer
July 31st 2016


4678 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, this was really nice, particularly the bookend tracks. Very Gaslight Anthem-y in parts I'd say. Thanks for getting me on this :]

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2016


38104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good to see two ratings up there! I've never listened to the Gaslight Anthem but if they're like this they're probably amazing

theBoneyKing
July 31st 2016


8455 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This sounds cool, great review too Row. May give this a spin.

Digging: Spoon - Hot Thoughts

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2016


38104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you'd love this Boney. cheers lad

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
August 1st 2016


11744 Comments


this looks like something id love but The National rec scares me a bit

Digging: Mount Eerie - A Crow Looked At Me

TheSpaceMan
August 2nd 2016


7888 Comments


Ace review rowbro would neg if I could

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
August 2nd 2016


38104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

means a lot nick :D

BlushfulHippocrene
August 4th 2016


1028 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Whoa, it's grown on me a bit, I like it a lot more now, and I think I might bump up the rating after a few more listens.

theBoneyKing
August 4th 2016


8455 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This didn't do a whole ton for me sadly, the guy's voice kinda irks me but I can't say exactly why :-/



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