It’s only been about a year since the release of Ones And Zeros, but Young Guns are already back with a new record, released last Friday. The band have said that they wanted to make up for a long period with no releases by putting out two records in quick succession, but I’m not sure if this has worked out for them. In my review of Ones And Zeros I said that I didn’t think the record would top their second album, Bones, for me, and I still stand by that. I’m interested to see if Echoes will succeed where their previous album failed.
The album starts with lead single Bulletproof, a track which features electronic elements as well as proper guitars, and a fantastic chorus which reminds us of how impressive vocalist Gustav’s voice really is. You can see the music video for the track here:
This is followed by title track Echoes, which demonstrates that the increased electronic elements from Ones And Zeros are still part of Young Guns’ sound. There are more beefy guitar riffs in this track, however, which hark back to their earlier days and heavier sound of the past. Said heavier guitars are found throughout the record, including during Careful What You Wish For and Mad World. These heavier tracks interspersed with electronic intros and effects helps each song to stand out from the rest, and the overall effect is pretty special.
The pace of the record slowed down slightly with Awakening, a more relaxed track with one of Young Guns’ trademark soaring choruses, and Living In A Dream Is So Easy, a wistful and emotionally charged number. The intro to Buried quickly returns the record to its previous high energy.
I’ll be honest and say that I went into this record with fairly low expectations. I was disappointed by last year’s release, so I became a little worried that the band were creating music in a style outside of my preferred genres. After giving Echoes a good listen, however, I’ve come to the conclusion that Ones And Zeros was an experimental prototype in the lead-up to their latest album.
I really enjoyed Echoes, and I think that the band have balanced alternative rock guitars and drums with electronic elements to create a sound that really works. In truth, I found it difficult to write up my little ‘highlights’ section because I really enjoyed most of the tracks, and they all had features I found interesting or unique, so it was harder to pick out favourites. Does this album top Bones, though? To be honest, Bones became a very important album to me during a difficult time in my life, so it will always mean more to me than anything else Young Guns put out. I do think that Echoes is musically on a par with their second album, and it’s fantastic in its own right, but the meaning I’ve given to Bones probably means it will always top any other music they put out. #sorrynotsorry
So to conclude, if you were disappointed by Ones And Zeros the same as I was, I suggest that you give Young Guns another try and listen to Echoes. I’m certain that you wouldn’t regret it.
Highlights: Bulletproof, Careful What You Wish For, Paranoid, Buried, Afterglow