The Wild, The Youth are an alternative rock quartet hailing from Manchester who this June released their self-titled debut EP. From the glistening synths on the opener ‘Awake’ to the frantic jams of closer ‘The Epicurean’ this EP certainly delivers in the sense that it provides a wide and varied approach to what could have been simple alt-rock, with the group dipping their toes in the electronic, the ambient and the ethereal throughout. Thematically this project is a dark, dense listen, with the subject matter dealing with personal vices, alcoholism and a recurring nod to a certain sense of confinement.
The instrumentals found here are done with a high level of finesse and detail, The Wild, The Youth are a band who quite early in their career have found their groove and established their sound with a very well-gelled and cohesive listen. The band keep the instrumental section fresh and eclectic throughout, so much so that I would go as far as to say that the album, had it been devoid of vocals would still make for an entertaining and interesting listen. The vocals themselves are emotive, pained at times but do little in the way of delivering the level of melodic eccentricity that defines the EP for me.
There is a moment, a bridge on the track ‘Searching For…’ where the vocalist breaks into a shimmering falsetto and it is a truly gorgeous 15 seconds or so, almost an eye in the storm that the band erupt back into moments later. It was a moment cut too short for me, a moment that possessed the most interesting and truly touching vocal moment of the album. I do feel like if the band had imbued this EP with vocal melodies that matched the sheer effectiveness of the instrumental section it would have elevated this EP to a level I feel it just falls short of.
That’s not to say the melodies aren’t effective and catchy for the most part, there’s a real anthemic intent with most of the choruses found here and the multi-layered chants and overall listenability of the EP don’t hinder it in any way. I just feel that the simplicity and at times overly repetitive nature of some of the hooks here fall short of the potential of this EP given the band’s performance. But this is an EP, and a very promising EP at that, from a band who like I said before have carved out a distinctive and engrossing sound, a band who will evolve, grow and hopefully thrive in the years to come. I am definitely looking forward to hearing where The Wild, The Youth go from here.