eMusic Review 0
Drawing from a blueprint abandoned right around the time James' follow-up to "Laid" failed to chart, Australian guitar-pop outfit Youth Group hooks heart-on-sleeve confessionals to big-as-sky guitar-pop. That James name-drop is deliberate: sonically, Youth Group is astonishingly similar to those extinct Britpoppers, right down to their stratospheric jangles and Toby Martin's earnest, wonderstruck vocals. And yet somehow Youth Group manage to be noteworthy instead of just nostalgic: the charging guitars on "Someone Else's Dream" are fiery and determined, and the way Martin stretches his voice just slightly to hit the top note in the title track is downright beatific. They even get away with lyrics like "Let’s all go to the holy soul/ to that soulless hole" by swaddling them in chord progressions that sparkle like silver tinsel. Youth Group may not be dealing in novelty, but their steady persistence and knowing charm make them strangely irresistible. Or to put it another way: you lock them out, they'll cut a hole in the wall.J.