Introducing… Youth Man

Our Introducing... series focuses on artists who we think are worth shouting about. Here we have Birmingham noise-rock trio, Youth Man.

Posted on Dec 23rd, 2013 in Features and Interviews, Youth Man / By Larry Day
Introducing… Youth Man Here at Bearded we aim to shed light on acts who don't necessarily have giant labels or muscley budgets waving banners behind them. This Introducing series will focus on artists who we think are great, regardless of how much hype surrounds them or where their origin story lays.

Name: Youth Man
Location: Birmingham, UK
Genre: Noise-Rock
Similar Artists: Mclusky, X Ray Spex
Contact: Facebook, Twitter
Events: Debut EP, Bad Weather, available for free download

Birmingham, land of the brummies, has been under the rock microscope this past year, launching a slacker-fuzz subgenre known simply as B-town; whether it's a fleeting fad or meant in jest is irrelevant, no one can deny that the city's output has been prolific and high-calibre. Swim Deep, JAWS, Swerve and many more are spouting out of the wider metro area like oil in Texas. Most of these acts have a grunge-y, vaguely apathetic approach to pop. However, it's not just this strand of noise that's been gestating in the area: Youth Man, blending afropunk, riot grrrl and noise-rock, have oodles more cajones. It's more Savages than Peace.

Already garnering attention from the big music press such as NME + ilk, the threesome have been wowing audiences nationwide with their tenacious steamroller of a live show, playing alongside PINS, Fair Ohs and The Bots. They've been known to trip venues' electricity with sheer loudness, and don't even blink at physical injury. At one show (their third ever), frontwoman Kaila White bumped her noggin on a bass guitar: “She finished the set covered in blood, mopped up the pool she'd left on the stage, and then went to the bar,” recalls sticksman Marcus Perks. If you had to describe their shows in one word, that word would be 'mayhem'.

Their recorded material isn't without its charming bite though. Their first foray into EP-dom, Bad Weather, is available for free from their Bandcamp site. Lead single 'Heavy Rain' opens with a glorious lounge-jazz bass'n'drums overture before bombastic axes chug into motion like a rusty train tearing down the tracks. White's decidedly British howl scales all volumes and levels of coherency, from a dulcet whisper to a lycanthropic yowl; there's definitely power inside those prized pipes. 'Salt' is another highlight, veering towards rockier territory that readers of Kerrang! might find solace in, though if your partial to a bit of thundering guitar and dynamic neo-goth moments, there's no doubt you'll be quivering in ecstasy.

Youth Man have already, though barely out of nappies in band age, begun stockpiling critical acclaim and a word-of-mouth reputation for incendiary live performances and a rollicking barrage of guitar-heavy sound that blends the experimental ethic of '80s noise-rock, the balls of riot grrrl and the brutal melodics of modern punk. There's not been rock as exciting as this in a while.