It’s pretty obvious that the band you knew in 2006 as Your Demise has changed. There has been lot of controversy around that band since we witnessed their musical reorientation on The Kids We Used To Be. They have lost a few fans on the way and reactions around their new album probably won’t be different. This record follows the same path but with more or less success.
Released on March 26 via Visible Noise, The Golden Age is the fourth full-length studio album from this UK hardcore punk quintet, the second one with former Centurion vocalist Ed McRae. For a few years now, these five dudes have been touring incessantly with heavyweight bands like Parkway Drive, Comeback Kid and Enter Shikari. It seems Your Demise gained lot of experience and have met a lot of new, great friends along the way.
These guys never took themselves seriously and on this record, it seems they just wanted to have fun with people they love and respect. The impressive guest vocals list prove the latter: Jason Butler (letlive.), David Wood (Down To Nothing, Terror) Theo Kindynis (Last Witness), Ajay Jones (Brutality Will Prevail), Josh Franceschi (You Me At Six) and Dannika Webber (Evarose).
The ‘Golden Age’ opening track is a pumped-up, fast song with skate vibes, including their gimmick “Your Demiiiise 2012, Bitch!”, but still not sounding as powerful as ‘MMX’ was. On the single ‘These Lights,’ things get worse. By to an annoying mainstream pop punk sound, Your Demise delivers a fake, but catchy song and misses the point. But don’t just start drawing fast conclusions, thinking that YD’s slightly different direction isn’t able to produce ground-breaking material. ‘Born a Snake’ is a solid track including all elements that set their fame: Fun, partying, but with an aggressive sound.
One of The Golden Age’s highlights is ‘Forget About Me’ where the band provides bouncy breakdowns with sweet melodic riffage and sing-along chorus. Clean and aggressive McRae vocals combined with David Wood strength skills are highly worthwhile and it creates a great mix between the old and new Your Demise sound. Another interesting song on this album is ‘I’m (Not) The One’ where Jason Butler from letlive. makes an intense appearance, with his raw and singular vocal blends.
The Golden Age has one principal value: its diversity. The band managed to deliver 11 pop-punk-hardcore tunes sounding quite diverse. Their traditional ferocious and beatdown trademark still sounds great but the problem lies in a cruel lack of originality, constancy and punch, really missing on a few songs. ‘Never a Dull Moment’ sounds like a bad A Day To Remember track and other songs like ‘Paper Trails or Worthless’ just sound out of place. Yes, The Golden Age sounds much more mainstream and poppy than everything YD has released before, but that’s no excuse. With a bit more character, strength and quality, this album could have been fantastic.
With their new LP, Your Demise have delivered a decent, worth listening but unequal album, admitting their influences from all areas of hardcore and punk music. We believe this change in musical orientation is not a bad thing when the music stays enjoyable and if the guys stay honest to the way they want to go with their songs. But we have to admit it: The Golden Age is a bit disappointing. Half of the album is hard knocking; the other half is quite weak.
So yes, bands change over time. You just have to admit it, YD diehard fans: This band makes music they want to make instead of following people’s expectations. And that’s honourable. But they will by any doubt still be kicking ass live and tearing up stages all over the world.
Track list – The Golden Age
1. ‘The Golden Age’
2. ‘These Lights’
3. ‘Born a Snake’
4. ‘Push Me Under’
5. ‘Paper Trails’ (feat. Dannika Webber of Evarose)
6. ‘Forget About Me’ (feat. David Wood of Down to Nothing, Terror)
7. ‘I’m (Not) the One’ (feat. Jason Aalon Butler of Letlive.)
8. ‘Never a Dull Moment’
9. ‘The Colour of Envy’
10. ‘A Decade Drifting’ (feat. Josh Franceschi of You Me at Six)
12. ‘Everything You Know’ (B-Side)