The Sound Of Young America
Port Talbot trio The Voices may be the post-millennium sound of New Wales but their hearts quite clearly lay in another time and place, at least a decade and a half previous.
'The Sound Of Young America' this most definitely isn't, despite what the title might say, and for that we should be mighty thankful as this record offers so much more than whiny lyrics and second-hand grunge riffs. In fact, 'The Sound Of Young America' couldn't be further away from its misleading title if it tried.
Despite their tender age, The Voices hark back to the days of 'Loveless' and 'Nowhere' for divine inspiration, preferring layered guitars doused in tremolo and wah-wah, ethereal vocals and a smoothly decorated noise that oscillates between paranoia and tranquillity.
Of the seven tracks on offer here, it's hard to pick one out as a particular standout, as this record flows quite cleverly as an album and generally shouldn't be tampered with. Indeed, to not listen to this album in its entirety would be doing both its creators and you, the listener, a disservice.
However, 'You Shared A Smile I Thought Was True' with its whispered vocals and mellow effects recalls 'Scar'-period Lush without entering pastiche territory and 'You Broke A Heart I Gave To You' could be Spacemen 3 without the heroin addictions and acrimonious break-ups. At nearly nine minutes long, 'You Broke A Heart.' justifies the blissed-out and slow-burner tags it will undoubtedly get saddled with, and if anything lifts 'The Sound Of Young America' to another plateau.
Of course some people will no doubt claim it's all been done before and lacks originality, but in an era where fourth rate plagiarist dross like Kasabian and The Twang can get multi-million pound record deals, this really is a breath of fresh air.
It's nothing like the country vibe we were anticipating.
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