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Young Rebel Set – Curse Our Love

Young Rebel Set, Curse Our Love

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

YOUNG Rebel Set, by their own admission, take their inspiration from the song-writing of Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan and their music certainly aspires to a classic American kind of story-telling.

Album opener Lion’s Mouth, for instance, is a rootin’, tootin’ slice of American Old West that even contains a guitar twang reminiscent of that era. It’s a defiant song and a statement of intent from the band that extols the virtues of standing up for one’s own principals and doing the honourable thing.

It’s also a hallmark of the band’s honest, everyman lyricism, which comes complete with an earthy vocal that recalls Pete Doherty mixed with a little Cash. It’s a lively opener and indicative of an extremely pleasurable listen.

Young Rebel Set have been hailed as delivering “life-affirming graft rock” and that is evident in a lot of their style, and never more so than during the two fingered salute of Walk On, a former single.

But for all their rebellious tendencies, they also know how to appeal to the masses, so that whether they’re pulling classic American rock vibes, dropping folk rock touches or pop-punk ones, they never lose sight of a sharp melody or a catchy chorus.

Walk On is a classic case in point, where the punky elements are neatly offset by a strings-backed chorus, or the breezy acoustic values of If I Was , which is disarmingly romantic and evidence of their softer side.

Indeed, this is an album that easily endears throughout. It’s tight musically, identifiable lyrically and evocative of many sources – whether that’s the Levellers’-esque Won’t Get Up Again, the early Springsteen-esque Borders, or the Mumford & Sons’ styled Red Bricks (another favourite for the way it layers in the elements).

The Dylan nod, meanwhile, is never more blatant than during the organ-led Fall Hard, which is almost a cover of Like A Rolling Stone without being one, which also drops some cracking guitar work. You almost want to chant “how does it feel?” when they enter the chorus each time!

Precious Days, meanwhile, introduces a fun harmonica element that helps whip the track into an excitable frenzy. It’s a real good time offering.

But then much of Young Rebel Set’s Curse Our Love exists to put a smile on the face and frequently does so in spades.

Download picks: Lion’s Mouth, If I Was, Borders, Red Bricks, Fall Hard, Precious Days

Track listing:

  1. Lion’s Mouth
  2. Walk On
  3. If I Was
  4. Won’t Get Up Again
  5. Borders
  6. Red Bricks
  7. Measure of a Man
  8. Bagatelle
  9. Fall Hard
  10. Precious Days
  11. Billy Died