Despite putting out a self-titled three-track single on net-label EardrumsPop back in the summer of 2012, fans of Kingston-based duo Young Romance were made to wait for their first proper release. By the time their debut EP ‘Wild’ arrived in the spring of last year their earlier indie rock sound had become something altogether noisier, with the Kate Bush-esque vocals of drummer/vocalist Claire Heywood accompanied by walls of feedback and driving riffs created by guitarist/bassist Paolo Ruiu.
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Judging by the four-tracks found on their ‘Wild’ EP, the time spent honing their sound between releases had been well worth it. The duo’s lead single ‘Wasting Time’ received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and XFM, while their particular brand of noise-pop began to earn them a reputation as a must-see live band. Festival appearances on the BBC Introducing stage at The Great Escape and at Popfest in New York followed, as well as supporting roles alongside artists like Joanne Gruesome and White Lies.
With momentum building steadily over the past year and a half, their long-awaited full-length debut ‘Another’s Blood’ certainly doesn’t disappoint. Featuring six newly recorded tracks in addition to four older numbers, three of which are carried over from last year’s EP, early single ‘Pale’ serves as the perfect introduction to Young Romance. The shortest track on the album, it’s explosive and straight to the point with pounding drums, rip-roaring guitar and powerful vocals forcing anyone within range to sit up and take notice.
The duo keep it short and bittersweet for much of their half hour debut, with only the slow-burning ‘Wild’ extending out beyond the four minute mark. One of several highlights ‘Another’s Blood’ has to offer, its muted-guitar and soft vocals give way to buzzing guitar chords which grow into a superb noise-filled climax. Lead single ‘Disappear’ is another standout track, its quiet-loud approach showcasing the duo’s noise-pop sound at its finest.
If it’s hooks you’re after then ‘Another’s Blood’ has plenty of them, with the aforementioned ‘Wasting Time’ and ‘Above The Wall’ both featuring anthemic choruses which soar wonderfully over walls of sound. Besides making a beautiful racket, Young Romance also demonstrate their ability to slow things down a little on a couple of numbers. The stunning ‘Cracks’ finds Claire Heywood reflecting on depression over subtle washes of guitar, while the beautiful piano-led closer ‘Cold’ ends their debut album on an unexpectedly sparse note.