The Golden Age
26 March 2012
by Tomas Doyle
The most telling moment of Your Demise’s fifth studio album comes right at the end of its third song, ‘Born a Snake‘. Vocalist Ed McRae yells “MOTHERFUCKER!” into the mic with all the force he can muster before breaking out into a childish giggle. Y’see, Ed isn’t taking it too seriously, and Hell, why should he? Mid 20’s guy rockin’ and rollin’ with his buddies in a young punk band – The Golden Age of his life? You better believe it. So if Ed isn’t taking it too seriously, why on earth is everyone else?
Oh I see! You were all into Your Demise back in 2006, and now you’re pissed they don’t sound like they used to! That’ll be why you were always at the 12 bar and Rucktion Records and Zone 6 sold loads of discs! The chances are that if you are annoyed by Your Demise’s change in direction you are a bandwagon-jumping moron in a five panel cap who knows nothing about UK hardcore pre-2005, so you’ll forgive us all if we a) don’t listen to you, and b) recommend you eat a shit.
The oceanic amount of butthurt that followed the revealing of the first material from this album, namely that of first single ‘These Lights’, was probably not entirely unexpected seeing as the internet seems to be populated by dribbling morons these days – but it certainly was confusing and for a number of reasons. If you like really gnarly, mosh hardcore chances are you dropped off YD long ago, and on the the other hand, thinking you are cool and underground because you like The Kids We Used To Be-era Your Demise and then getting upset because the girl from Evarose is on this album shows a lack of self awareness which borders on the autistic. If xJUDGEx made an album like this I could maybe understand – as it is, just grow up. Or shut up. Or both.
So what of The Golden Age as a whole then? Well, it definitely IS a change in tack for Your Demise, the skate punk vibes are turned to 10 as is the idontgiveafuck-core melding of screamed vocals from main man Ed and guest slots from pretty much any of the bands peers you care to name (including hardcore kids bête noir Josh Franceschi). The guest appearances are on the whole well executed with even the You Me At Six man’s contribution making contextual sense, but they do perhaps serve to sign post for a more pervasive problem with the album. The issue is that from within the Your Demise camp itself the vocal contributions are fairly mixed. McCrae’s voice is decent but doesn’t have the distinctiveness or depth of tone that you would ideally want to carry these more melodically driven songs. Range too is a bit of a problem and whilst this is something that will no doubt come in time if they continue in this style on records to come, it is notable that letlive. vocalist Jason Butler demonstrates more breadth of singing style in his half-a-song cameo that McCrae does over the course of the rest of the album.
Watch the source of so much butthurt – the video to ‘These Lights’ by Your Demise:
There are some stonking tunes on here, though. ‘Push Me Under’ bounces along with staccato punch before unwinding into a good old fashioned breakdown about when the “devil stares back at you” which is deliciously moshable. Elsewhere, the title track contains a priceless reprise of the “YOUR DEMIIYIIIIISE [insert year here] BITCH!” shtick which made its debut on The Kids We Used To Be. For pure chorus though it has to be ‘A Decade of Drifting’ which features the aforementioned turn from Franceschi and is a song which you can easily envisage being absolutely massive at festivals this year.
The Golden Age is like an experiment, and like a lot of times when you do something different from your usual, the first attempt doesn’t always go perfectly. It is a more ambitious record than the one which preceded it but perhaps lacks the confidence and execution which that album possessed. In a world where “hardcore” seems to be expanding its global popularity by the day and there are zillion new bands on the block every time the sun rises at least Your Demise are getting out of their comfort zone and having a go – and for that at least they have to be applauded.
Sounds Like: Millencolin, Comeback Kid.
Standout Track: A Decade of Drifting.