Younghusband: Dissolver (ATP) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Oct 30, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Two years after the release of their debut album, Dromes, the British quartet Younghusband returns with a new collection produced by Loop’s Robert Hampson. As with Dromes, there seems to be no pressure toward a strictly defined sound, with any caprice potentially unveiling their next direction. It’s an approach that works in their favor.

Hampson’s input serves to bring out the best in the band’s ideas rather than obviously exerting his own creative considerations. “Waverley Street” plays initially like an urgent reprise of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” though the dynamics shift quickly, with breathy harmony vocals sailing over a wall of electric strums.

The arrangement of “Heavy Expectations” employs a simple, rhythmic chug, with electric guitar stings lighting up the relaxed feel. Singer Euan Hinshelwood’s ennui mirrors the instruments: “Heavy expectations/My mind is taken with sad relations/Bring me what will come after/Where there’s laughter without disaster.” Voices join in toward the end like a wordless Greek chorus.

“It’s hard to think of better times than this,” sings Hinshelwood on “Better Times,” though you may find yourself drawn to the catchy, ascending guitar/key lines behind him. “She Lies Awake” is another an example of where the album’s generally basic arrangements can have an impact, setting up some melodic vocal twists that are all the sweeter for their brevity.

“Blonde Bending” is a real showcase track. As guitars and drums pound and electronic pings float from left speaker to right and back, they build again and again toward a memorable chorus that anyone in Britpop’s heyday would have given their Rickenbacker to claim. “Say thanks and I’ll be gone/Your love was never shown,” Hinshelwood sings, wrapping up a tenuous or ephemeral connection concisely: “Blonde bending, descending/The ending.” By comparison, “Orange Flare” offers a warm, hazy comedown, especially if “Blonde Bending” happens to hit close to home.(

Author rating: 7.5/10

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