Young British Artists – A Change By Any Other Name

Four years in the making, and Young British Artists debut, fuzz loaded LP, has finally risen.


It’s a question myself and many others may have pondered about recent Manchester band’s debuts. Why do they take so long to be released recently? I mean bands such as MONEY and Pins took 6 years collectively for their debuts to be released, but with amazing results (I only heard Pins album two weeks ago, and it’s a belter). On Young British Artists’ debut, there’s magic in the air, just not from gospel salvation or the power of girl rock. Instead, a haze of swirling shoegaze styled fuzz, blows like a violent cross wind, as moderately minimalistic guitar tones are fused together like the particles of sand that fly dangerously, on a traditional day at a British beach.

The use of hysteric fuzz seems almost alien to anything other than reverbed, slacker pop, but on A Change By Any Other Name, the elements of fuzzcore, add a youthful feel to the band’s historic guitar hooks which hail their Mancunian predecessors. A New Language takes the plunge of the being the album opener, utilising the aspects of post-punk from the likes of Joy Division but replacing the morbidity of Unknown Pleasures for more, pleasant, post-fuzzcore punk.

This punk mentality presents itself further on tracks Live In Skin and Everything In front Of You, with both featuring crashing drums underneath a sky of rapidly and savagely attacked guitars, for a transgressive approach to traditional punk mentalities, (being hard faced and pure aggression), as they re-brand punk as something to be enjoyable because it’s enjoyable, not because it’s a big fuck you to life or about demoralised living.

One of the band’s oldest tracks, Blood Brother (2011) immediately decimates the thoughts of an ‘upbeat’ punk/fuzz fusion, as shoegaze layered guitars and ambient drones, seize control with slowly progressing productions, allowing the album to recollect itself  and give a final burst of energy on the final closing tracks.

So four years have passed and YBA’s debut finally arrived to what many expected. A new fusion of punk. It’s no big surprise when a Mancunian band adopts punk as their generalised concept. On the 6th day, God created MANchester, and on the 7th he gave MANchester punk. What YBA practise to distance themselves from their ancestors works, is adopting the modern styles of fuzzcore from their trans-atlantic cousins, to create a weirdly optimistic sounding record, which flusters the mind completely, as it sounds so nostalgicly bleak, but yet at the same time sounds distant to anything in current circulation. It’s as if they perfectly captured what people in Manchester feel like when the sun comes out.


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