Young Liars make radio-friendly dance-rock on Homesick Future
Homesick Future (Nettwerk)
It’s been the better part of a year since Young Liars self-released this debut EP, but it won’t be until next month that the record finally gets some label support, thanks to a deal with Nettwerk Records. It isn’t hard to see why the band caught the record company’s ear, with Homesick Future boasting a radio-friendly, dance-rock sound that’s heavy with twinkly synths and four-on-the-floor beats.
The EP’s merits are best conveyed by the opening one-two punch of “Echoists” and “Colours”, both of which bolster their caffeine-addled rhythms with soaring chorus hooks. The latter tune is both the catchiest and most ambitious song here, as it ventures into a swirling instrumental passage that culminates in an out-of-nowhere funk bass break. It sounds a bit like Flea hijacked the track for four bars’ worth of Chili Peppers–style dick-waggling before leading seamlessly into an electrifying final chorus.
The band doesn’t fare so well when it tones down the energy, as it does on the awkwardly mid-tempo “Navigator Island”, which is marred by head-scratching crooning about people who are “optimistically about to be frowning”. The song improves significantly during its bridge, when the lyrics are replaced by giddy, Nintendo-esque blips and bloops.
After that, it’s back to upbeat thumpers, and Homesick Future is much better for it. Perhaps Young Liars will eventually master the art of the slow dance; until then, there’s nothing wrong with indulging ourselves in a little nightclub-friendly booty-shaking.