Just over a year ago, British alternative rockers Young Guns released ‘Ones And Zeros’, the LP that saw them shifting heavily towards pop and was deemed a disappointment by a lot of their fans. Now, the band has returned to their more rock roots; their fourth full-length effort ‘Echoes’ might contain a few laid back moments, but it also holds some potential arena rock hits.
Musically the band is, as always, proficient. The instrumentation is various and creates a full sound; the rhythm section does its job well, the guitars keep delivering great riffs and solos, and Gustav Wood‘s impressive vocals give some variety to this record which otherwise, heavily lacks it.
The biggest shortcomings concern the songwriting. They always aim for epicness and that might result in some truly great tracks, but sometimes it results in average songs that feel a tad bit forced and, as said before, lack variety. Thus, even though the album contains gems like ‘Bulletproof’ and ‘Paranoid’, which seem to be custom made to be sang along by thousands, as well as the punchy fight anthem ‘Mad World’, there are tracks like ‘Living In A Dream Is So Easy’ and ‘Buried’ which have potential, yet pale in comparison to the other songs on this LP.
‘Careful What You Wish For’, despite the rather cliche subject matter, is a good example of band’s ability to write great riff-driven rock songs. One of the best tracks on this record is ‘Awakening’, which provides for the much needed interlude, and, rising from a quiet introduction to a soaring chorus, prepares the listener for the second half of the album.
The modest ‘Mercury In Retrograde’ is a breath of fresh air, and it’s followed by the piano ballad ‘Paradise’ which, although predictable, is nevertheless likeable. ‘Afterglow’ sets the scene for a great ending just to make one more attempt at epicness, and thus provides for only an okay one.
‘Echoes’ doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, but it’s still an energetic, catchy, and well-crafted record, perfectly suited to accompany you wherever you might be and whatever you might be doing.
Written by Raimonda Mikelsone (@_raimondaaa)