I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, but it really isn’t looking good for the prosaic 2001 post-hardcore lot. Hundred Reasons, Hell Is For Heroes – all nice enough bands, but being out-done by newer acts with heaps more energy and a hundred and one more ideas. It really is an exciting time for British rock bands. One of which is They Died Too Young – an At The Drive-In influenced, jumpy, jagged, loud punk-rawk band from a little place called London, UK.
Their debut mini-album – Push Becomes Shove – is a solid rock record. Solid, y’know, as in one of those records you can put on without necessarily looking for the repeat button but one that you won’t want to turn off either. They rarely stop for respite, favouring a near non-stop stream of post-hardcore jerks and screams. The album’s riddled with surprises – twists, turns and tempo changes aplenty. The most obvious album standout is ‘Face Of A Million Strangers’, where Tom Gibbs’ yelp is at its most feral, before making way for the other highlight_ ‘I Am A Patriot’_ – a track which ends in an accelerating instrumental section. You have to hear it.
Push Becomes Shove promises an interesting idea at every juncture. However good the idea though, the band occasionally fall short at the execution. ‘Levi Tac’ issues a warning to any other post-hardcore bands thinking of writing half-baked pastiche of At The Drive-In’s Relationship Of Command, and while album closer ‘Automation’ isn’t bad, the atmospheric guitar heavy crescendos just leave you yearning for a Pelican album.
With the right production and a tweak here and there they may well prove themselves as one of the faces of the British rock scene, joining the ranks of the other exciting British rock bands doing the rounds at the moment. Although not quite the forward-thinking brilliance that Meet Me In St Louis played out on Variations On Swing (really, has there been another British rock album as worthy this year?), this is still worth a peek. After all, Hundred Reasons aren’t going to deliver the goods…
7Ben Yates's Score