Feral Youth

Released: 2nd June 2014
Label: Shape Records

Before even pressing play on this debut album by Boston-based band Wakes, I already knew I was going to love it. Released by Shape Records, a label who have consistently released music that we at AMP couldn't live without, ensured that ‘Feral Youth’ was going to be an album I would love.

That said, I don’t think I was prepared for exactly how much this album was going to capture my attention and imagination. The opening guitar riffs of ‘Widows’ instantly sent the adrenaline surging through my body then, as soon as Tim Oxton’s vocals - which sit somewhere between Ian Curtis and Johnny Cash - arrived, there really was no turning back. The opening lyric instantly showcases the talent this band possess in putting words to paper, “Take my hand and jump with me, Oh I’m waiting for the day I die”. ‘Headlights’ follows with an infectious guitar melody that has summer stamped all over it, everything about this song sounds effortless and perfect with harmonies that are irresistible. ‘Pillowside’ is a beautiful piece of pop music that the entire world needs to hear, throughout this song the band combine darkness with light in an enthralling way ensuring this is a song you will not forget in a hurry.

There are so many highlights on this incredible debut album including ‘Two Step Heels’ which sounds like it is from a golden era; you'll simply want to dance your troubles away to the infectious sounds of this song (well I do at least). However, once you get away from the happy melodies and listen to the lyrics you'll realise this is far from a happy song, “Oh you take my heart and crush it in your hand”. ‘Young Again’ is full of reflections on life with so many great lyrics, “She lies awake, trying to remember, her fleeting, former life”.

Although I have picked out some highlights from ‘Feral Youth’, highlights alone don't do this album justice. Every song on this album is quite simply amazing making it a surefire contender for debut album of the year. Do not let this pass you by.

‘Feral Youth’ is available now on limited edition 12" vinyl from Shape Records.

You can also listen to the album in full here.

Steve Tay

Get By

Released: 2nd June 2014
Gruff Rhys
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Released: 5th May 2014
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