Hot on the heels of that amazing 7 disc No Fans Compendium is another serving of fresh new Richard Youngs material, this time on the Sonic Oyster label! “Unicorns Everywhere” declares Youngs determinedly, and quite right too. We are informed that these are protest songs, Youngs against the world with a cheap guitar sound and disco basslines. 250 copies only!
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- Unicorns Everywhere by Richard Youngs
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 29 April 2015
There’s no-one quite like Richard Youngs is there? Not many other artists we can think of would provoke an in office debate as to whether we should continue to review all their records as there are so damn many of them and they are taking up space on the website. He regularly straddles the genius/idiot divide more often than not falling down on the latter side. His performance at Wharf Chambers in Leeds last year confirmed that he’s more performance artist than anything else; at times impenetrable, at times infuriating and at times brilliant, I was left muttering the words ‘tosser’ to myself before then thinking about it for three days solid.....and I guess that is the point.
This record is a ’protest’ record made in the build up to the general election. Musically it’s kind of a jazzy garagey skronk with weird speeding up and slowing down drum machines and fuzzy, twiddling guitars. So far, so avant-scree but what always saves Youngs is his voice and words. He can sing over pretty much anything (and often does) and it always works because it’s done with true feeling. ‘Feelings Not Lies’ comes across as a fuming John Lydon wailing over a broken drum machine. In fact early Public Image Limited can also be heard in the pumping bassline that sits beneath the roll call of names on ‘Roll of Dishonour’ and the relatively poppy ‘Unicorns Everywhere’ which is quite superb. The Beefheartian ‘Minimum Citizens’ clatters as if falling down a flight of stairs. All the while Youngs rants about the current political climate.
Although it will probably only appeal to the ‘no fans’ who hang on his every word, its possibly only its confusion and lack of compromise that will stop it there’s being seen as reflecting the current climate in Britain in the same way as recent records by Sleaford Mods. It’s at times quite brilliant - let's smash the system.
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