YouNoGoDie - II

Owain Paciuszko 17/06/2009

Rating: 4/5

Scatty rock from Derby four-piece on this their second album, a collection of energetic, limb-flailing tunes filled with equal parts good tunes and messy wig-outs. The opening twosome of In Fools on the Dancefloors and lead single Far provide a double dose of choppy, meaty rock with a good ear for memorable melodies and shouty lyrics.

The Wind Changed does just that, shifting gears into erratic Math territory, an instrumental that heralds the schizoid sound of Last Night a DJ Saved My Wife, mixing scuzzy, bile-soaked vocals over a switch-track arrangment that is at times a retro-sounding guitar riff and then a demented scattering of experimentalism. The track ends transforming itself into something similar to Stephen Malkmus's more avant-garde solo output, with arch arrangment and barked lyrics.

Then along comes Chalk Marks which dallies with a more direct indie-rock sound, it's a decent song but following the monumentally wayward invention of the previous track it's further diluted. Furthermore Hate It starts off strongly, fast and angry, before becoming an arch pseudo-pop song warped through a filter of The Pixies and Future of the Left, with a wry refrain of 'Make the girls go ooooooooo.' It's anti-pop tradition yet instantly, almost counter-productively, entertaining and catchy.

Gang of Four and other post-punks make their influence felt on Three Fights, the closest we get to a slow number here. It wearyingly uses some familiar tricks and stumbles upon its own trippy sound, proving to be more obtuse than acute.

After a pair of decent numbers treading a standard, but no less energetic, field of post-punkery, there's the jazzy skirmish of ------ which is a six minute instrumental guitar noodle over laidback bass and fluttering drums. It's almost cheeky in its about-face, but highlights the band's strengths in creating pleasingly lucid yet manic and melodic sounds that can occasionally drift into something unashamedly catchy or, at least, warrant a trance-like headphone groove. As a record II has mood swings from highs to lows, but is consistently interesting and when it hits it's a damn good listen.