Album Review: Young Guns – Ones and Zeros

released 8 June 2015, Virgin EMI

Gustav Wood – lead vocals

John Taylor – guitar 

Ben Jolliffe – drums, percussion, backing vocals 

Simon Mitchell – bass guitar 

Fraser Taylor – guitar

Young Guns the English alternative rock band from Buckinghamshire launched their third and long awaited album, Ones and Zeros, on June 8, 2015.

2012 saw the release of Young Gun’s critically acclaimed album ‘Bones’ and since then the next album has been eagerly awaited. However, Young Guns stood their ground and took their time – refusing to be rushed, resulting in an album featuring an new electronic vibe without having sacrificed their own style or recognisable raw talent.

Having performed at numerous festival, played alongside a plethora of well known bands and achieved considerable success in the US, Europe and the UK this album that will inevitably see them rise up to the next level. Whilst the core sound is very much the same there are noticeable differences appearing through their heavy alt rock vein. This album overflows with depth, catchy hooks, stirring choruses and solid rock songs of stadium quality.

The high-octane opener Rising Up, with distinctive pop and dance sounds, displays euphoric beats and choral chants set against a driving underlying energy that establishes it as one of the  album’s biggest tracks.

I Want Out follows – a deeper, intense but nevertheless catchy tune that, like Bones is a rock anthem, conveying the same soaring feeling but with slightly weightier riffs. Whilst the impressive drums form the solid backbone of this song it is a track where every band member seems to perform at the top of their game.

Infinity, a more mainstream track that will still appeal to the diehard Young Guns fans is effortlessly anthemic and perfectly showcases the timbre of Gustav Wood’s voice throughout

By contrast Lullaby is a surprisingly gentle, beautiful and distinctly more subdued track; Die On Time is in a similar vein but featuring darker, deeper qualities

Momento Mori is a moving but sanguine track, featuring full pulsing drum beat, strong bass and a grounded rock sound.

Gravity – a powerful melodious song  and with sublime guitar playing uncovers a rare delicacy to Gustav Wood’s impressively strong voice.

Daylight features a similar electronic feel to Rising Up, an incredibly upbeat, positive and powerful rendition set against driving percussion, tight lead guitars and an orchestral backdrop.

In contrast Speaking In Tongues features the heavy bass rhythms that capture the classic, raw side of Young Guns perfectly.

Ones and Zeros, the albums title track continues with the newer heavy electro feel but succeeds in combining the old and new sounds. There is a synth effect from the guitars resulting in a dance track with a definite heavy rock vibe and an intoxicating main riff that is instantly infectious.

This album has built on the  past releases of Young Guns allowing them to stay loyal to their raw musical roots but allowing them to  incorporate newer electronic effects within their sound. 

The lyrics are engaging and thought provoking throughout and Gustav Wood stated, in an interview with Kerrang that “It feels great to be back with the strongest material we’ve ever written.”

This album is well produced, and the tracks seems to flow seamlessly from beginning to end and has the feel of a band who are incredibly  happy and satisfied to just be making music. There is the sense that Young Guns want to prove that they are worthy of being labelled the rock heavyweights of the UK and this album could help set them on course to achieve this.

Written By: Lindsy Stott

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