Cheshire based rockers Blitz Kids have had a busy 2013, what with slots at Download and Radstock festival, and support tours alongside the likes of Mallory Knox and Lower Than Atlantis. In addition to this they managed to find time to go on their own headline tour in September and record their third full length album The Good Youth. They’ve got an impressive work ethic to be sure, but anthemic alt/rock is a crowded genre in the UK, containing heavy hitters such as You Me At Six, Young Guns and a host of other high quality bands. The main problem for the Blitz Kids is standing out from their peers, and with the 2012 EP, Never Die it was clear that they’d really made strides in developing their own original sound. So, can The Good Youth continue that strong upward momentum for the band?
It certainly gets off to a strong start, with opener ‘All I Want Is Everything’. It’s an anthemic track that absolutely fizzes with energy. Everything about this song, from the soaring chorus, to the gang vocal ‘woahs’ bookending every verse seems specifically designed to get a festival crowd jumping, stomping their feet and signing along. Even if you’re sitting down listening to it alone in your house your head will just start to nod and before you know it you’ll be up and jumping like a kangaroo that’s desperate for a pee, you have been warned. The next couple of tracks are equally strong, with more of that amazing energy and those stadium filler choruses
There’s a slight change of pace when we get to ‘Long Road’, a slower, calmer song, which sees the band in a more reflective mood. It’s still got the ubiquitous gang vocals and it still sounds like it’s tailor made to incite an arena full of people to put their lighters in the air, but it’s more atmospheric than a lot of what has gone before. The addition of some stings just adds to the general melancholic loveliness of this track. Before long though, we’re back onto the anthems, with album highlight ‘Perfect’, a slice of pure rock perfection which really shows off frontman Joe James’ powerful voice.
Overall, The Good Youth is a very good album. It showcases track after track of polished rock, every song sounds like it could be a hit for the band and there’s nothing on the album that would be out of place on rock radio. However, the originality which was starting to appear on Never Die is nowhere to be found. These songs all provide strong doses of anthemic rock, but the quirky little gothic touches and unusual riffs that could sometimes be glimpsed on that record are nowhere to be seen here and therefore, while The Good Youth is an excellent album in many ways, it doesn’t really capitalise on the potential that Never Die showed in terms of marking out the true ‘Blitz Kids sound’. This is a big shame, as Blitz Kids are a formidable live act and one really fantastic album could be the push they need to make them superstars. The Good Youth isn’t quite that album yet, but it’s packed with catchy rock gems and would form a worthy addition to any music fan’s collection.
The Good Youth was released on Red Bull Records on 20th January 2014