Young Jesus – Young, Innocent & Hairy
Chicago based quartet Young Jesus have been causing quite a stir amongst us here at Hey Man, Check My Band, for all the right reasons. They create grizzly alternative rock that whilst relying heavily on its influences, brings something new to the table. It’s easy for a critic or passionate music listener to toss around the generic idea that a band reinvigorates a familiar formula in their own way. For Young Jesus though it’s undoubtedly the case. Whether it is the vocals, a particular merging of genres or cranking up the overdrive, they show that it’s still possible to carve your own niche in the reputable behemoth of a genre now known as ‘alternative’.
Young Jesus are proud of their influences. It’s easy to hear throwbacks to The National, particularly vocally, as well as others cited such as Titus Andronicus and Wilco. Whilst their influences can be heard, and are accredited, the sound on their debut ‘Young, Innocent And Hairy’ is undoubtedly theirs. If there is to be only one reason for you to listen and appreciate their debut EP, then let it be that.
Emotion is something that Young Jesus strive to convey . They pour it into their music in a way that can never be competed with by musical proficiency. The EP starts with ‘Gardens’, which in turn starts with an overheard conversation that fades chaotically into the start of the rousing opener, an emotional roar from the lead and the EP charges forth.
It really doesn’t lose momentum either, from the angst ridden driving passion of Eloise At The Plaza and the slower, yet no less powerful, stripped back first part of ‘Chicago Alone’. The story telling is vivid, and carried by the fervent vocals. The EP then finishes with a flourish and a twist, the second part of ‘Chicago Alone’, a country infused tale of love lost and pent up anger is driven home with a climactic beat and wonderful group ethic. It’s arguably the strongest track on the EP, consisting of raucous group hollering and an indescribably raw, despairing and enthralling verse that completely immerses you in its intensity. A dying note leads Young Jesus’ first installment out, though there’s no doubt that there’s more to come from one of the most exciting prospects of the year so far.
I don’t really think I’ve done Young Jesus justice though reading back, just writing this has allowed me to appreciate quite how strong their debut is, so I thought I’d leave you with a comparison. Young Jesus’ EP is similar to Tokyo Police Clubs ‘A Lesson In Crime’. Not musically, though comparisons can definitely be made, but because when you listen to it you can almost hear them say ‘this is us; this is what we do’. They’ve poured everything they have into these 4 songs, music is where their passions lie, and they aren’t ashamed of it.
I only hope that this too can be a runaway hit and that Young Jesus can share a similar, wildly successful, fate.
Here’s a link to their site where you can download the whole EP for free, however if you aren’t convinced then have a listen to ‘Eloise At The Plaza’ below.