Album Review: Gang of Youths – The Positions (2015 LP)

Already topping the Australian charts since its release, Gang of Youths present a warmth and fiery-edge to the indie scene of music with their debut album, The Positions. Full of raw emotion, an atmosphere of storytelling is played out in each track, with intricate and striking lyrics that you don’t need to relate to to understand. In the words of Dave Le’aupepe and his band, love is seen as perfect but through it all, there are imperfections that can lead to darkness and what this record translates to is finding hope in the constant battle of chaos we call our lives.

With The Positions, Gang of Youths have brought a sense of perfectionism in their music, with songs that have been developed elegantly and with infallible maturity. There’s a progression in each track, between every ambitious riff and chord. The longevity in the instrumentation of tracks like “Poison Drum” and “Vital Signs” have evolved in a way in which it gives the comforting realisation that it’s okay to not be okay. The beauty of both “Kansas” and “Knuckles White Dry” provides a fine balance between consistency and experimentation, through their cohesive use of the violin and piano, which in their simplistic nature get right to the core of sadness.

But it’s not all melancholic. The record brings upbeat numbers and moments of bright-eyed optimism. Take “Radioface”, with its continuous percussive beats and the fast-paced rhythm in each guitar sequence. Frontman Dave Le’aupepe hits all the high-notes perfectly while impressively keeping the emotional side to his vocals intact, even when put alongside the band’s melodic instrumentation. With their last track, “The Overpass”, Gang of Youth close things out with a candied, alternative rock edge, revealing fantastic chemistry in their musicianship and lyrics that remind us what this record is really all about. In all, it’s an eloquent way of saying, “Life’s pretty shit. I’ll make fucking good music to cope with it”. It doesn’t get more real than that.

The Positions is magic to the ears and undoubtedly will rank as one of the year’s finest releases – Australian or otherwise.

Review Score: 9.0 out of 10

The Positions is available now.


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