The music industry isn’t a particularly easy thing to navigate. From band practice and song writing to gigs and networking, it’s a full-time job, yet one that is often a side-project for the average person.
So, when you hear that it took nearly ten years for The Young Hearts to get around to releasing a debut album, don’t judge them too harshly.
The very existence of ‘The Modern State’ was only debated relatively recently to boot; the Kent four-piece initially believed that they’d follow-up 2017’s ‘Honestly, I’m Just Thinking’ with another EP. But existentialism kicked in, and the group apparently decided that their biological or career clock was ticking, and, just in case this would be their final record together, to make it an album.
Now, setting aside the very un-punk-rock notion that age should be a factor for any decision, this thought process doesn’t bode well for The Young Hearts‘ self-confidence. A lot of bands go through rough times, but such a pessimistic mindset must generate a really unmotivating creative atmosphere. YOLO, and all that.
Nevertheless, The Young Hearts powered through the time of uncertainty to put together ‘The Modern State’. It’s packed with songs you’re sure to have heard before in a small, sweaty venue. ‘Easy Life’ brings in Blink-182 influence with its ‘Up All Night’ energy, in both sound and lyrical content.
‘Still Wandering’ plays that sweet 2021 “better but not quite all good” mood, in what is potentially ‘The Modern State’‘s best formulated track. The rise and fall of the music here is well balanced, and doesn’t leave us hanging on for a third of its length with an unnecessarily long outro. Truly, this music isn’t going to reinvent any genres and plays it safe. It’s ultimately harmless and fun, if a little repetitive.
While it’s clear that The Young Hearts put a lot of effort and love into ‘The Modern State’, it would be unfair not to point out a couple issues. For instance, some scissors could’ve been taken to some of those instrumental outros going on for just a tad too long. These melodies are nice, but less is sometimes more.
Playing in the space of a full-length record is maybe not what The Young Hearts are best at, but they still have the potential to explore more, if they still have the drive.