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The Young Veins – Take A Vacation!

The Young Veins, Take A Vacation!

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

IF IT’S Beatles-inspired ‘60s pop with elements of Nuggets-era garage rock and fuzzed out psychedelia you’re seeking, then the debut album from The Young Veins offers the perfect ticket.

Brimming with appeal retro pop hooks and catchy melodies, this is a joyful soundtrack to the summer from an act who could, quite quickly, become the new name on everybody’s lips.

Not that they’re unknowns, per se. Twenty-three-year-old front-man Ryan Ross spent his formidable years as the primary songwriter, guitarist and singer in Las Vegas’ wildly popular Panic! at the Disco, a band that rode to the top of the charts on dance-floor synths and impressive rock theatrics.

However, over the course of two albums, Ross’s song-writing and musicianship began to evolve, mature and outgrow the stylistic bounds of the band.

So, after he and Panic! bassist Jon Walker had discovered their talents as a song-writing duo, they made the decision to step out on their own. And armed with new material, Ross and Walker made their departure, moved to Los Angeles, and formed what is now The Young Veins. The results are brilliant!

Joined by Andy Soukal on bass, Nick White on keyboards and Nick Murray on drums, they have crafted a stunning 29-minutes of deliberate and focused song-craft – or concise pop and rock songs that embrace a dreamy California spirit but also epitomize Ross and Walker’s vast sphere of influence, ambition and artistry.

“We wanted every song to have a different theme, like a specific subject,” says Ross, who splits song-writing duties with Walker, each helping the other hone and fine-tune initial ideas, finish creative thoughts and explore different stylistic directions. “We wanted them all to be little stories that you can picture in your head.”

The results are instantly addictive, catchy as hell and easy to sing along with and relate to.

Title track Take A Vacation, for instance, is a Beatles-esque ode to holiday-making built around delicious sun-drenched harmonies and sing-along lyrics, while Maybe I Will, Maybe I Won’t has an almost George Harrison-style appeal, combined with a little McCartney.

But the spirit of all the classic songwriters are present in some way, from the Spector-esque swagger of Cape Town to the more recent Gallagher-esque, retro-leaning bad boy antics of Young Veins (Die Tonight), which boasts such easy-to-embrace lyrics as “is young a word for dumb? A word for fun?”… And so on.

There’s a laidback slice of psychedelia on Everyone But You, one of the more pensive offerings, which contrasts nicely with the guitar swagger of Defiance – a real firecracker of a record.

As its name suggests, Dangerous Blues drops a nice blues-pop vibe that is great for just kicking back with and forgetting your worries, while there’s even some traces of psychedelic folk-pop in the Heart of Mine.

In truth, though, The Young Veins don’t put a foot wrong throughout Take A Vacation!, which really does have to rate as one of the albums of the summer… if not the year!

Download picks: Change, Take A Vacation!, Young Veins (Die Tonight), Dangerous Blues, Defiance, Heart of Mine, The Other Girl, Security

Track listing:

  1. Change
  2. Take A Vacation!
  3. Cape Town
  4. Maybe I Will, Maybe I Won’t
  5. Young Veins (Die Tonight)
  6. Everyone But You
  7. The Other Girl
  8. Dangerous Blues
  9. Defiance
  10. Lie To The Truth
  11. Heart of Mine
  12. Security
  13. When You Walk In The Room