One thing you can certainly say about Young Turks‘ new EP, ‘Where I Rise’, is that it’s short and sweet. It’s a release that’s practically over as soon as it starts, which is in one part a good thing and another frustrating.
The problem with hardcore punk is, in my opinion anyway, that it doesn’t translate as well on record as it does in a live arena. For example, when ‘Roe Vs. Wade Vs. Westbrook’ violently climaxes into an eruption of guitar/drum carnage, you can imagine in your head that the live performance of that song would be incredibly visceral and head-blisteringly brutal. But, unfortunately on record, this band just don’t come across as they may hope. The instrumentation’s fine, if a little fuzzy in places, and whether that’s intentional or not it isn’t quite clear, but the vocals are too much like background noise instead of being the scream magnet that pulls you in.
On the final track, ‘Old Gods’, this vocal issue is clear, we just can’t hear enough of them to make it a good punk release, even if everything else is perfectly fine. What can be said about the EP as a whole though is that it’s a hard as nails and piercing bleeder of a release which shows that hardcore punk can still be infectious (even if the vocals aren’t at the forefront of what’s good about the record).
Overall, ‘Where I Rise’ is okay, but nothing really to write home about and the short nature of the EP kind of epitomises the level of attention that it’s worth giving. As a whole, it’s pretty unspectacular on record, but Young Turks are possibly a much more enthralling group when seen at a live show.
Written by Greg Spencer