Let’s get this out of the way and move on... I’m a fucking obsessive nerd who needs to read fewer record reviews on random European hardcore/punk blogs and sleep more. I’m getting snowed in as we speak, so I’ll allow it.
Alas, here I am entering the new year locked into the backward glancing, “shit I missed last year” part of January. I’m currently in awe of the number of amazing records I overlooked. Atop the increasingly mountainous pile sits Relentless by the Parisian punks in Youth Avoiders. Released in the first quarter of 2018 (3/30/18) by French HxC label Build Me A Bomb Records, Relentless is just that- a non-stop barrage of tightly wound '80s-styled hardcore. Upon a deeper dig, however, there's far more going on. Approaching damn near a decade as a consistently active and prodigous group of shit-stirrers, theirs is a discography that pays endless dividends.
Falling squarely in their own music box, Youth Avoiders play buzzsaw and, at times, jangly hardcore at an absolute breakneck pace. Perhaps a band assembled in my dreams, they play Marked Men as performed by Deep Wound, an exceptionally tight and precise take on light-speed hardcore punk that never strays from consistently hummable melody. In the earlier 'oughts, this would have fit perfectly on a bill alongside like-minded punks Regulations, The Vicious, Government Warning, or the Observers. At times paired with washes of noise, their attack is both cerebral and primal. As anxiously as they may bash out sub- two minute ragers with relative ease, they manage hooks sharper than concealed back pocket blades. Clearly, the years together have sharpened the four piece's weaponry.
More recently, this corner of hardcore is similar served up by agitators P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S. and their similarly named counterparts in No Problem.
Beneath the razor sharp composition and presentation is a band that also trades in something a bit more bleak, casting a darkened post punk haze over the affair.
In much the same way that The Red Dons incorporate an austere and deadly serious air to their image, as do Youth Avoiders. It’s befitting of a band with a uniform, black and white traditionalist aesthetic. The cover art is at once gorgeous and intimidatingly spartan. Give ‘em a listen... they choose to speak in whipsmart barbs packaged in 90-second blasts.
Of the 11 rippers that constitute their 2nd full-length, opener, "On the Run," is as good a place as any to get hooked on the immediacy of their calculated and damaged madness. Following the table-setting ambience of feedback is a riff simultaneously crushing yet hummable, recalling the Pick Your King-era of Jerry A and crew. With nearly clean guitar, frenetic basswork, and an impossibly fast yet locked in drum sound, it's my favorite first track of recent memory.
If last year was any indication, hardcore is strong the world over. I’ve seen London. Now I’ve seen France... and they sure as shit have my attention thanks to Youth Avoiders. This is crucial stuff. Here's how to snag it:
- Vinyl via Destructure Records
- Vinyl via Build Me A Bomb Records
- Cassettes via Pissed Off Records
- Free download
Tagged: youth avoiders