YOUTH MASS @ Jam For Syria


An honourable mention for tonight’s music must also go to Buffalo Sunn who played an amazing set before Youth Mass.

Some bands take a hiatus and lose their mojo. Not the case with Youth Mass and tonight they delivered a prolific set that showed they have lost none of their prowess.  ‘Morning Run | Evening Sun’ is an album that is a U&I office favourite and any excuse to give it a play is always welcome. Readied from the off by the intent behind ‘Babadook’, the euphoric is captured in the sound. This builds the weight impressively and the behind the deliberations they build it in anticipation. As to how it closes that is another all-out showing in its own right. The energetic concentration in the showing surges through on ‘Old Enough To Know Better’. In a way it feels as if The Flaming Lips meets Underworld. The detailed pomp as they break into stride gives it this anthemic calling. So much so that a glass smashed on the table beside us as it played out. The rhythm has a colourful nouveau disco chic which collects the indie smarts in a highly regarded turn.

‘Toy’ also harnesses a determined cut, but the sound also corners a drawl which is worked well by the looped pedals. It all adds up and gives the calling fluidity. With this shoot the breeze air of cool the dynamics are suitably composed in tandem with the overall performance. Another betwixt sense of measurement is found on how ‘Fragile’ plays. This lingering saunter is cornered in the exchanges and contains all the right qualities in all the right places. It is also comforted by the prevailing manner that underpins the effectiveness of the vocals.

Their new single ‘Somebody Help Me’ is a more accessible effort. Where it is rich in detail is managed by the tone set out in the rhythm. This then meets a more urgent shift in direction that is also well provided for. It bodes well for the band’s upcoming new material that this appears to have been cut from the same cloth as their previous material but also has something going for it in its own right. They happen upon more diversification with ‘Tunnels’ and here they keep it fresh sounding. There is a confidence to the running and this gives it a strong front. With that comes a more defined sense of volume that grabs your attention. Arguably the best track on their debut album, and one of their best live tracks, is ‘Tony Don’t You Worry’. Everything it needs falls into place as soon as the first chord is struck. How it is called out warrants everything you can ask for in a great tune but they also earn it. There is a handsomely pieced lyrical narrative that fosters a pop appeal but backs it up with indie credibility. With the pitching there is a further sense of scope realised, yet hearing it as a track comes second to actually seeing it performed live. That is saying something.

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