Album Review: Young Guns – Ones and Zeros (2015 LP)

UK-based alternative rock band, Young Guns are in my opinion, underrated in the scene of music they are already in. To see them go at great lengths with their last two studio records while maintaining a loyal fanbase is an achievement itself. The last time I saw the band live was back in 2012 when they were supporting Tonight Alive in their Sydney show at Manning Bar, replacing US rock band, The Dangerous Summer. Before this last-minute change was made, I was already aware of how incredible their music was and I can tell you now that Ones and Zeros has that same continuum of expertise; the genuine and uplifting songs that create an atmosphere which lighten the spirits of those that need it most. It instills a pathway for progression and creativity that reflects a quality album.

This record itself unravels into something quite extraordinary as it solidifies the band’s maturity. Their music has evolved in a courageous way by combining electronic elements with underground hard rock vibes that layer each tune into perfection. It’s a journey worth taking and more often or not, you can easily picture yourself somewhere that evokes a sense of wanderlust and escapism.

The band’s debut album, All Our Kings Are Dead and their 2012 release of Bones were records that were a rite of passage into the music industry. Although the band had a small fanbase a few years ago, the outstanding quality remains the same if you look at the individual songs that make up Ones and Zeros. Through continually experimenting and keeping things fresh, Young Guns have brought a record which has taken their sound dynamic to the next level. It has shaped them well-enough to produce an altern-rock sound of their own.

It’s no surprise that most people get blown away with the loud and invigorating anthemic sound Young Guns produce. Through tracks such as “Rising Up” and “Speaking In Tongues”, it provides a comforting sense of liberation as the musicians place all their thoughts/feelings into two songs. Here we see them transition musically by speaking their minds of wisdom and integrity through uplifting lyrics and energetic instrumentation which heightens the listening experience for any individual. It is triumphant and heroic and can be considered as a timeless effort by the band themselves.

The flow between “Memento” and “Lullaby” adds balance to the record accordingly, soaring new heights in its subtle adjustments of drums, bass and guitar. In this, frontman, Gustav Wood is able to hit high notes on a supreme level with such emotions that resonate deep within his vocals. Although this album was something that didn’t resonate me at first, it gave me a chance to appreciate the creative direction this album took. It says a lot about their personal values as musicians and for Young Guns, the value of each song was clearly a defining moment that made up Ones and Zeros.

There is a story that Young Guns have when it comes to their records and I personally think not many people understand it. It’s challenging to constantly be able to write and produce alternative rock music that doesn’t sound like a walking cliché. This band, however, step-up their game each time and it makes your mind wander into a place of its own; a place where it’s able to feel at home, once again. Ones and Zeros is a captivating and honourable record and surely one that shouldn’t be passed up on. It’s a heroic effort that provides a standpoint for the band and their music.

Review Score: 8.5 out of 10

Ones and Zeros is available now.


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