By Conner Jensen
When you hear the band name Yung, you would expect another run-of-the-mill rapper who is just trying to make it big with a hip name. However, the Danish punk quartet is far from what you would initially expect. Comprised of Yung Shord, Tobias Guldborg Tarp, Frederik Nybo Veile, and Emil Zethsen, Yung creates punk music with their own flair that rocks the socks off their hometown of Aarhus as well the socks of people across the globe. Their most recent album, A Youthful Dream, released last week through Fat Possum records and frankly after listening through the album I had to double check my feet to make sure they were still covered.
A Youthful Dream begins with “The Hatch,” a gradual and ominous introduction into the heartfelt punk album. The song begins with sound effects waning in before the band explodes into the melody of punk rock, which is tried and true to the genre. The song is exciting, fast-paced, and sets the bar high for the rest of the album. “A Mortal Sin” begins as the last song fades, and they take no breaks before continuing. The song immediately starts out with a more moody bassline, mixed with whining vocals and the consistent playing of an electric guitar. This song still maintains the upbeat coastal sound that remains as an underlying portion of the melody which nicely contrasts the angst vibe of this song.
“Uncombed Hair” brings a little light into the work, beginning with a fluttery and vibrant bassline to introduce the melody. This song has a slower tempo than the previous but this change of pace is refreshing. However, after the first instrumental, the song begins to pick up the pace and progresses into a blend of punk and west coast rock n’ roll that you’ll want to start back over once it's ended. “Morning View” adapts an entirely new sound for the album, having a light acoustic strumming be the basis of the melody, accompanied by the unique vocals to make for a refreshing change from the usual sound you would have come to expect. The tempo fluctuates slightly throughout the song, but for the most part the song is comprised of a slow and steady strumming of string instruments which are briefly accompanied by sound effects and other instruments.
This song serves as an excellent segue into “A Bleak incident,” which starts slow but gradually progresses in speed. This song has adapted a very pop-punk sound for this song, which is likely to remind you of songs from Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. This song retains the contrasting moods of angst and peace, making you feel like you are taking a long road trip to nowhere, but you could care less. After a brief pause, a bassline comes thumping in along with the slow crack of the cymbals to introduce “The Child.” Much like the song leading up to it, this song has a slower tempo, and in fact is one of the slowest songs on the album. The vocals blend with the beginning melody along with the slow playing of a piano to make for a peaceful ode that is ripe with regret and loss. The incorporation of horns and pianos has yet to be seen in this album, and the introduction of these instruments sends sparks through your eardrums.
The fading strumming of a harp closes out “The Child,” and the band spares no time picking the pace back up again for “Commercial.” The band returns to the Green Day reminiscent sound with fast and explosive drumming accompanied with the shredding guitars and bass. Following the second verse there is a point where all sound fades out before exploding back into their rock and roll rage. This instrumental is fueled by a guitar solo that will spin your head around, then after a refrain the song comes crashing to an end. “Pills” begins with a steady, vibey strumming of a guitar, which is soon accompanied by the crashing percussion and the wailing vocals. This song is angst ridden and has a clear theme of regret and loss, reoccurring themes throughout the album. Following the chorus, an instrumental builds tension before beginning the second verse. This song is catchy, innovative and all around fun to listen to, making it a highlight for the album.
“Blanket” slows things back down again, with the electric guitar serving as background music as the vocals slowly recites the first verse before the quartet gives it their all and takes the tempo from 0 to 100, which is thrilling for the listener. The melody of this song is similar to many of the faster tempo songs, maintaining the lighter bass lines that contrast the speedy drumming and strumming. This song fades out with a few strange sound effects that reinforce the fading, and then “The Sound of Being Okay” begins. This song maintains a darker mood, as the vocals are lower and are more angsty and depressed than they have been prior. The highlight of this song is not the vocals, however, but rather the instruments themselves. The instrumentals that separate the refrains are unique, catchy and strange, making it the most enticing part of this entire song.
“Silence” follows closely behind serving primarily as a transition into the final song. The primary sound is the electric guitar, and while this song is only a minute long, it is not to be skipped over. Silence sets up “A Youthful Dream” nicely, segueing almost immediately into the final song, which starts out quite strange. The systematic strumming that makes up the initial sound is reminiscent of a bell ominously ringing. This sound remains as the melody progresses to incorporate the rest of the instruments, but the song doesn't pick up until about a minute in. The tempo picks up and the strange introduction you just endured was well worth the wait. The instruments and the vocals blend together to create an excellent blend of angst, obscurity and reflection that sort of encompasses the experience of being young.
Yung’s most recent album is not one to miss. This quartet has put together one of the most unique punk albums out to date. They ditched the cookie cutter and decided to form their work by hand, and the album flourishes because of it. The contrasting blends of moods, sounds and tones throughout send you into a whirlwind and you’ll be sad when it’s over.