Gang of Youths give us the first taste of their debut album with Radioface

This past week has been all about the seven minute tracks. First Tame Impala gave us the sprawling Let It Happen, now Gang of Youths have graced us with Radioface, an epic piece of power-rock mastery.

Gang of Youths

Sydney indie kings Gang of Youths yank on those heartstrings with their sprawling seven minute epic Radioface.

Gang of Youths have reined supreme in Sydney for a few years now. They have a killer live show, have played with the likes of Smith Westerns, Vampire Weekend and Cloud Control, and have released a bunch of singles that have earned them huge props from FBi, triple J at home, and the BBC, KCRW and KEXP overseas. Now they have finally announced their debut record The Positions – which is set for release in April – and with it the lead single, Radioface.

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It’s a huge track. Not just in it’s length but also it’s breadth of emotion delivered both through the lyrics and the instrumentation. There are the obvious nods to Springsteen that have been present throughout Gang of Youth’s past releases, but with Radioface synths take the forefront evoking influences ranging from 80s pop to Sam’s Town era The KillersThe track is meticulously well produced, which is no surprise as lead singer David Leaupepe is a self-proclaimed perfectionist (arsehole) in the studio. The guitar/synth lines (sometimes its hard to tell which is which) ebb and flow in the background while the drums pound relentlessly, a technique that fellow Springsteen-eqse rockers The War On Drugs used liberally on their awesome 2014 album Lost In The Dream. 

Despite it’s length Radioface is never dull. It’s all building to something and when the climax hits it is well worth the wait. It’s got everything a good power-pop song should have, the pounding drums, chanting BV’s, epic lead guitar, a repetitive vocal hook ending with a chorus that will have people shredding their vocal chords trying to replicate at their live shows.

The lyrics seem deeply personal but convoluted enough so that they avoid being corny, nor do they make the listener feel invasive. There’s a whole lot of emotion in there and sometimes with power-rock or pop that can be a massive turn off. But Gang of Youths execute the track the with just the right amount of elusiveness, where guitar and synths lines compliment the vocals in call-response fashion resulting in a pool of emotion, swirling together and drifting apart, and it’s hard not to get lost in it all.

Radioface is  a huge statement of a song. An epic precursor for an album that will hopefully contain tracks so masterfully meticulous and executed with such skill. As for their live show, you’d better start warming up those vocal chords.



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