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
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.
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