Young Widows - Easy Pain - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Young Widows - Easy Pain

by Jim Harris Rating:9.5 Release Date:2014-05-20

Young Widows aren’t a particularly young band, as Easy Pain is their fourth album spread across a decade or so. Their stuff has always come across as moody and intricate with alternating blasts of pedal-driven noise-metal and spacey, deliberate rhythms. But what I’ve always liked about them is just the sheer surprise factor in how different each track seems to be.

The first track, ‘Godman,’ comes across like some 21st century Stone Temple Pilots grunge tune, with the heavy, grinding guitars telling the listener right away that this album has the band getting to the point much faster, louder, and with less dicking around with atmosphere. And this continues, for the most part. While Young Widows' Sonic Youth influence is perpetually there, it was always the added textures which made their songs more intriguing and their jams less droning. This plays out well in the next track ‘Cool Night’, with its brooding bassline and ominous echoes building into a wonderfully complex and hypnotic, almost goth tune.

And therein lays the pleasure of not only this new album, Easy Pain, but Young Widows' previous releases. You never know exactly where they are headed but what you always get is pedal-driven walls of reverb and feedback cranked at a sufficiently loud volume and literate lyrics which take a few listens to get the gist of.

From a track like ‘King Sol’, which has them using steady-fast repetitions like Dinosaur Jr. colliding with Interpol, and then traversing through post-punk, hipster funk with ‘Kerosene Girl’, Young Widows create the proper walls of controlled and well-executed layers that, as always, leaves you wanting more. My favorite tracks are ‘Doomed Moon’ and ‘Birdfeeder’. The latter is just straight-up odd and compelling in execution, like the band has taken a snippet from Lou Reed’s bizarro Metal Machine Music and decided to add a melody. ‘Doomed Moon’, meamwhile, is a brilliantly written track which illustrates just what a mature band of collaborative songwriters we have in Young Widows.

What I find most remarkable about Young Widows is their southern American roots (Kentucky), and how organic and rich all this noise is, at least to me. Having been born just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky, whenever I hear something new by this band, regardless of how weird and elaborate the soundscapes are, it still feels like somewhere in the ghostly beautiful mixes are the echoes of Duane Allman, and how that brilliant guitarist could effortlessly weave his magic through a tune. 

If you have not experienced Young Widows, Easy Pain would be a great place to start. It’s their best album yet. 

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