Album Review: Young Statues - 'Young Statues'

1 January 2012 | 11:42 pm | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

An outstanding debut that proves it is possible to stand out in the crowd.

Starting out as a new pop rock band can prove to be a difficult task. Releasing a debut record in a genre that is so seemingly saturated by repetition, where it seems everything has been done, and re-done, to death makes it seem almost impossible to forge your own path.

That is where Young Statues self titled debut release comes in. An album of songs that was initially never intended to be released, it is just over 30 minutes of pop rock that sounds so familiar, yet so fresh at the same time.

Spacism” takes light, swelling guitar lines and feeds them beneath vocalist Carmen Cirignano’s youthful, steady vocals to create an irresistibly catchy opener. The track is intimate and introspective while still being catchy and forces the listener to want to hear more. Exactly the feeling an opener should leave you with. It lays out a pretty solid foundation for the next ten tracks to build off. Spreading between soft, cruisey, indie-rock verses and catchy, boppy, upbeat, pop-rock choruses, Young Statues have actually succeeded in creating a record that brings something different, fresh and new to the table.

Throughout the album Young Statues experiment with the clashing and intertwining of melodies. Right from opener “Spacism” melodic guitars and keys and layered over upbeat, bouncy drums and percussion, creating a contrast of sounds that when met by Cirignano’s interesting vocals creates an array of layers that almost seems like three separate tracks are being played at the same time while managing to weave together into a complete sounding song. Next track “Athens” explores the same method, this time using melodic piano lines layered over crashing cymbals, this pattern continues as the record does.

The majority of the 33 minutes utilizes the upbeat pop-rock/indie song structure. Featuring bouncy instrument lines and catchy-as-hell chorus hooks that force you to sing and dance a long, ensuring you can’t sit still for a minute. “Pretty Girls Make Raves” is one of these highlights. While opening softly, it heads straight into an upbeat, fun sounding track. With a simple, constant beat carrying the song there is no way you cannot bop along. The band is clearly well suited to this style of music. Cirignano’s vocals sit so perfectly in this setting, and is matched and complimented so well by the rest of the band it is hard to believe this is the band’s debut.

That is another strength of not only the record Young Statues, but also the band; the maturity in the musicianship of every member. Throughout each track Tom Ryan, Steve Paponi, Daniel Bogan and Matt Weber fit so seamlessly together, painting an intricately layered background for the vocals, ensuring that no one member stands out and allowing every song to seem complete.

While the upbeat tracks allow the rest of the band to exercise their fingers, it is the few slower tracks that allow Cirignano’s vocals to soar. Album closer “Meet Me At The Hudson” is a perfect example of this. It’s ambient, soft opening compliments the cruisy, soft nature of Cirignano’s vocals, proving the versatility of not only his voice but also of the band as songwriters and musicians. While each track is filled with an honesty that is hardly consistently present right throughout an album, “Meet Me At Hudson” is one of the most true and honest sounding tracks on this record.

When you name a track after not only the title of the album but also the name of your band, there is definitely a reason for it. “Young Statues” perfectly displays the two song settings in one 3-minute experience. Weaving in and out of acoustic sections made up of simple sounding instrument lines and pop-rock sections made up of boppy, bouncy instruments it showcases both sides of this young band.

It is hard to pick a single track or moment that stands out on this record as each song seems to be a small part of this dreamy, intricate story and while every track can easily stand out on its own, this is one of those albums that you can listen to in any order and still be compelled to hear from start to finish.

With their self-titled debut release, Young Statues have immediately set the standard exceptionally high. They have created a well-put together album made up of intricate layers that manage to clash and weave throughout every track. In a genre that is so tried, tested and repetitive, Young Statues have managed to create an album that brings something new and fresh to the table while still seeming comfortably familiar.  Young Statues is an album that ensures people are going to take notice. There aren’t many bands that set the bar so high on their first release.

1. Spacism
2. Athens
3. Half Light
4. Bumble Bee
5. Losing A Friend
6. Young Statues
7. We Trusted Everything Enough
8. Keep It Dark
9. Pretty Girls Make Raves
10. Your Seasons Stay The Same
11. Meet Me At The Hudson