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The Young International
The Young International EP
(self-released)
www.theyoungintl.com


Residing in Nashville, The Young International is a collaboration among old college friends. This rock quartet is an absolute representation of an autonomous band as each member assists with one step of the songwriting and marketing process. Comparable to many British pop bands, The Young International mixed their southern roots with sounds from abroad. The delayed, sustained guitar work found on many of the tracks echoes like The Edge from U2 while the lyrical moments reflect American pop acts such as The Fray. The majority of their songwriting is riff-based - all five songs [on this EP] feature a miniature melodic idea that might remind listeners of early Coldplay or Travis. The Young International are indeed young, as it is apparent the group is struggling to find a sound to call their own. Still, despite the formulaic structure of their first release, one can not deny the energetic and dynamic compounds that shape this EP.

The first track, "Ruckus", has a thick bottom end filled with booming bass and kick drums. As leader singer Kaleb Jones chimes, "is that beat, beat, beating in your head going to get to you?" this ground-thumping opener seems reminiscent of an impending war march. The next track, "Gravity", is radio friendly, perhaps too friendly for a band that holds such potential. A catchy but cliché chorus, "I'll hold you like gravity / always keeping you close to me," fits well over an austere guitar melody but fails to offer any profundity. "Say Goodbye To The Sun" is an expected follow up, feeling more like a forgotten B-side while the acoustic meddling in "Shadow Boxing" offers contrast to the first half of the release. The last track, "Straight Line," embarks on an ambient journey, as a jittery guitar line dissipates into silence.

The Young International's self-titled EP is polished pop music. Infectious choruses, delicate guitar work, and youthful ambition lead this quartet to solid ground. However, it is with hope that future releases diverge from such a commercial gloss and experiment with sounds yet to be discovered.

-Parker Tichko

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