ALBUM REVIEW: Blood Youth – Starve

Release Date: February 22nd 2019
Label: Rude Records


With the release of debut album ‘Beyond Repair’, Yorkshire bruisers Blood Youth cemented themselves as ones to watch on the UK hardcore scene. Angsty, cathartic, and brimming with energy, it was altogether a solid record, but one made by a band still finding their feet.

However, on sophomore effort ‘Starve’, the Harrogate troupe have headed in a grittier, heavier new direction, and have ultimately come into their own.

The unsettling intro that is ‘{51/50}’ makes it immediately evident that the four-piece are shedding their lighter, punky roots in favour of something darker, yet the enormity of lead single ‘Starve’ proves that they haven’t lost their ability to write a killer hook. The chorus is enormous, destined to soar equally well in dingy basement clubs as it will on airy festival stages, and Kaya Tarsus‘ cleans are as weighty as his screams are gut-wrenching.

If you had any doubt that the band mean business with this new sound of theirs, then the thundering bass and sharp snare in the start of ‘Nerve’ will convince you that this isn’t a phase, Mom – Blood Youth are doing heavy now, and they’re doing it damn well.

Granted, there’s no doubt that they’re taking influence from bands across the spectrum; ‘Spineless’ is the best Slipknot song that Slipknot never wrote, whilst the nu-metal vibes on ‘The Answer’ and the muted synth on ‘Waste Away’ mix Linkin Park with the bite and edge of more modern bands like Polaris. Still, it’s done in a way that retains the band’s originality and, ultimately, their knack for a penetrable riff.

It has to be acknowledged that this is by no means a record that pleasantly washes over you. From the creepy, gloomy interlude that is ‘{stone.tape.theory}’ right down to the 11-minute outro ‘Exhale’ that’s wracked with pained screams, eerie guitars, and unrecognisable noises, this is altogether an uneasy listen – but that’s exactly what Blood Youth intended.

If ‘Beyond Repair’ was the sound of a band finding their feet, then ‘Starve’ is the sound of a band now able to stand on their own two, and accomplish their own aims – and this time, their aim is to make you uncomfortable.