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Old 04-18-2006, 03:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Youth Group-Skeleton Jar

Youth Group

Epitaph Records
2004

Tracklist:
-Shadow Land
-Skeleton Jar
-Lillian Lies
-The Frankston Line
-Baby Body
-See-Saw
-Drowned
-Last Quarter
-Someone Else's Dream
-Why Don't The Buildings Cry?
-Piece of Wood


Youth Group is a guitar driven, indie band hailing from the land down under, and released their sophomore effort Skeleton Jar in the year 2004. This album didnít catch on as much as hoped, but still sold well. I was drawn into buying the album upon hearing the title track, Skeleton Jar. It is a beautiful song, and while simplistic, has slipped its way into being the most played track on my iPod. I hoped that the rest of the album was as excitingly fresh as this serene, enjoyable song, and for once I was met with more than I could even begin to have hoped for.

The album is comprised of eleven tracks that round to a total of forty-one minutes long. This is somewhat short, but isnít too noticeable because each song flows so smoothly from one to the other. You feel like youíve been listening to it all day once you finish, but thatís actually a positive thing. The instrumentation on the album is simple, yet wholesomely attractive. The tempo of the songs will have many tapping their foot to the ground to match the beat of the drums. Especially on Shadowland where there is a loud, and constant drum beat. This music is particularly recommended for studying, or reading a book as it creates a feeling of euphoria that helps to relax, and maybe even put a smile on a persons face. See-Saw is an immediate standout from everything else as it combines everything that Youth Group uses perfectly. The single percussion beat in the background, with some single notes played from the guitar is surprisingly quite extraordinary. The vocals run smooth as butter through each segment of the six-minute song. Without a doubt, this song is a huge surprise to see from the band that seemed to be content with making most of their songs only three, or four-minutes long, and it doesnít even get repetitive either.

Skeleton Jar needs one listen to either hit or miss, and will most likely hit with everyone who listens to it. The only way it could turn off someone is if they think that itís a little too boring for them. Either that, or the songs may seem a little too much like each other. The singing is extremely melancholic, but also sprinkles a bit of catchiness at the same time. Most songs start off with a clear, lone guitar, and those seemingly perfect, melancholic vocals, which will stay in your mind all day long. The bass is masked well, but has a real life to itís own, and if you are a focused listener you will learn that the bass helps to move many of the songs along. Even now I only begin to understand that statement because the interplay between the guitar, and bass is rather outstanding, especially on the title-track. The weird thing about this record is that while each song is basically the same style as any other song on here, they all seem to have their own individuality. Each song has a hook to it in one way or another that will constantly beg for attention. This isnít unique in any way, but it hooked me from beginning to end, and it just might do the same for others too.

4.5/5 Superb
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Old 04-18-2006, 05:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Interesting choice, compared to your other reviews. Youth Group is really nothing new or even standout, but I'm pretty sure Epitaph doesn't have another album like Skeleton Jar in their catalogue. I haven't listened to the album in full, but I'll make sure to check it in due time. I think Lillian Lies is a melodic number, and hopefully the rest of the album is on par.
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Old 06-24-2009, 03:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I really enjoy this album and am fond of this band, although I haven't listened to them for a long time. 'The Frankston Line' is about a train station line that I used to have to catch every day to work. I like their music because it's close to home for me.
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