Album: Deranged Youth
Genre: Hardcore Punk
Number of tracks: 10
Release Date: Sep 2013
I’ll admit it; I don’t listen to much punk music. Besides the occasional Misfits record, it is a genre that hasn’t really been on my radar. Given this, reviewing Deranged Youth’s self-titled release was an eye-opening (or ear-opening) experience.
When looked at as a whole product, the album is a very raw, aggressive listen that contains as much Slayer and Far Beyond Driven-era Pantera influence as it does vintage punk. That being said, no particular aspect of their sound seems to over-power the tracks and there was enough subtle diversity for me to remain interested for the entire listen. The most consistent aspects of the tracks were rapid rhythm guitar/bass done in a very early-thrash/hardcore punk style, as well as some very quick and sometimes very technical drum writing. Guitar solos were quite frequent (something that I don’t generally associate with punk) and very reminiscent of King/Hanneman.
To get more specific, tracks such as ‘Intro’ and ‘Touch of Violence’ inspired my above Pantera comment, and I got the feeling that the latter of the two in particular wanted to kill me. Then there were tracks such as ‘Evangeline,’ ‘Hipster Holocaust’ and ‘Who I Am’ (my favourite of the tracks) which had a strong power metal edge, using rapid Judas-Priest style guitar lines and duelling guitars (again, very un-punk in my experience) and there was even a clean break in ‘Brain Cell’ which was quite haunting when hidden amongst all of the album’s balls-to-the-wall aggression. There wasn’t too much in the way of hooky guitar-riffage, though the intro to ‘Asshat’ must be mentioned for its sheer badassery in this area, as well as the guitar work in ‘Who I Am.’ Rather than focus on guitar pyrotechnics, all of the instruments on the record seem to do what is needed to give you songs that aurally kick you in the face.
Lyrics and Singing:
The vocals across the album are the most consistently punk-element of all the tracks. Yelling angry lyrics in a clean voice gives heavy music a frantic edge that guttural vocals just can’t match, and this is one of the things that stop Deranged Youth from sounding too much like a thrash-revivalist band. Particularly in the clean break in ‘Brain Cell,’ the vocals are (intentionally?) off-pitch in a way that adds far more atmosphere to the song and it is this raw, angsty attitude that gives the songs on the album an authentic punk-edge. The track ‘Touch of Violence’ must get another mention, as the synthesised “violence!” chorus left my girlfriend (who happened to walk past the door during the track) rather terrified; like I said, I don’t doubt that this track wants me dead.
Lyrically, this band is pissed; with choruses that have lines such as “this is exactly who I am, this is exactly who I wanna be, this is exactly what you fear, come on and say how much you hate me,” they’re leaving no doubts that anyone who doesn’t like them can get fucked, because they’re gonna stay the way they are regardless.
One last standout mention is the use of deep, guttural vocals in the track ‘Darkest Day’ – having that underneath the almost Nursery-Rhyme-like melodic vocals was quite creepy (though in a good way!).
Whether or not you like or listen to the style, this New Hampshire punk band has written a dirty, angry record that will surely appeal to some angry teenagers who need to vent, and maybe some old-school punk fans as well. I commend the boys for arranging and completing every aspect of this album themselves, as the DIY approach gives the album a sincerity that many major-label acts seem to lack. I started this review by voicing my inexperience with punk, but I rather enjoyed listening to this album; the appreciation of each instrument’s roles and the willingness to let other styles’ sounds creep in gave this album a tasty, if subtle, variety and I plan on listening to it again.
-Matt, 23rd Feb. 2014
The album can be bought and downloaded from the following link: