Song Review: Young Lions – “Grave Digger”

Song Review: Young Lions – “Grave Digger”

Song review: Grave Digger
Band: Young Lions
Twitter: @YoungLionsAus
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Date of Release: 23rd December 2013
Genre: Rock 
Reviewer: Erised (abuse me on twitter @Giaccattack)

Holy fuck. That’s all I can really say. This has got to be my current favourite song out of everything I’ve reviewed since IPHYB has been around. There will be almost no criticism in this review, so if you want beef, go check out the Vultures review.

Let’s start from the beginning shall we? When I first pressed play, I was instantly put in mind of “All I Want” by A Day To Remember. Of course, since ADTR are my second favourite band, I’m not upset about this at all. After the intro however, the ADTR comparisons end immediately. What follows is just a cascade of awesome, followed by a wave of amazing, topped off with a sprinkle of pure unadulterated brilliance. This song is seriously out of place in the local scene, it belongs amongst the big leagues.

The vocals are easily the standout, but before I continue, I’ll say this. I fucking hate Dream On Dreamer. It’s shit. I’ve seen them live, and it was boring as fuck, but I did happen to notice that the new clean vocalist had some serious pipes, as opposed to the mincey, wuss-core vocalist they had previously. This is relevant, because said vocalist is the voice behind Young Lions. His vocals are just an absolute delight. Rich tone, a wonderful gritty edge to his upper register, creamy vibrato and a lush timbre to his low register. If it was possible for me to marry an audio track, I would have already bought the ring, gotten down on one knee, pretended like I wasn’t doing it just for an excuse to get some kinky sex and pre-ordered a $3000 suit that would never be worn again. I could practically go on for days about how amazing Zach’s voice is, but I’m limited for space here.

The rest of the music is somewhat secondary to the vocals, and every instrument compliments and accentuates the singer perfectly. It’s a beautiful display of symbiosis that Mother Nature herself would be hard-pressed to out-do. The vocals are brought to the fore by what the rest of the band are doing, and in the same token, the vocals really make the music kick along. The lead guitars over the top are perfectly composed, the drumming utilises build ups better than just about any band I’ve reviewed thus-far. The only thing I could possibly pick on was the by now traditional criticism that the bass really follows the root note without much deviation. It doesn’t really detract from the song, but a few bass runs would have added even more colour to the tune.

The thing with amazing vocals and tight instrumentation is that it means precisely zero without great melodies and hooks to bring out the best of their talents. This is wear Young Lions really show just how far ahead of the pack they are. The melodies are just so very, very good in this song, so much so that it instantly made me what to want to learn this song and adapt it for acoustic guitar. That is really only possible with songs that have a super strong melodic structure. The pre-chorus is a perfect foil to the chorus, showing of Zach’s excellent range and tone in his higher register, and the Chorus itself continues on this theme. He also wins bonus points from me for utilising his exemplary natural vibrato to thicken up the emotion over the course of the entire song.

The dynamic awareness displayed in this song is yet another striking feature, but more so than that is the lyrical prowess on display. It’s one thing to write good lyrics, it’s another thing entirely to write good lyrics that “sing well”. What I mean by that is that some words simply don’t sound good when in the context of a chorus, some words just won’t fit when paired with others etc. and these guys have managed to employ no small amount of poetic skill in crafting what is an astounding display of lyrical mastery. This is best displayed in the one-two punch of the pre-chorus/chorus combo:

“The way I owe you all I own and I can’t get back what I want most
If this is it, why can’t you just remember?
I know you know everything you said about me
You were heartless, you were wrong
Into the void
And I know you don’t want to learn it all the hard way
My girl if you don’t know, you’re gonna die unhappy”

It is certainly not easy to rehash an overused lyrical theme and still come out sounding fresh, but these guys pull it off with aplomb. I seriously can’t express how much I love this song. I bought it through iTunes, which is annoying and brings me to my final point. I really hate using iTunes to buy music, I’d much rather go through Bandcamp and have the majority of the proceeds go directly to the band. Food for thought guys.

Vocals: 10/10 (fucking marry me)
Guitars: 9/10
Bass: 7.5/10
Drums: 9/10
Production: 10/10
Lyrics: 10/10
Songwriting: 10/10
Overall IPHYB Rating: 9.5/10
Personal Enjoyment Rating: 10/10

Song Review: Young Lions – “Grave Digger”
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Chris Giacca

Publisher at IPHYB
Chris Giacca just may be the worst writer in the world, but it doesn't matter because he probably still has a bigger audience than you, so he is by default automatically right about everything. No exceptions. He's currently writing a novel which will be uploaded in single chapter installments as spoken word on bandcamp. Physical releases will be on laser disc only, limited to 17 1/2 units. Don't ask about the half.

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