Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies

Hurrah! Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last

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Although Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies' second release was dubbed an EP by the band, at 39 minutes plus, it's actually longer than many full-length albums. (Even the four-track vinyl edition, which drops the remix of "Spooks the Horse" by 65daysofstatic and the single "Ores," runs a meaty 32 minutes.) As Youthmovies, a rejiggered lineup of this Oxford four-piece (minus singer and guitarist Andrew Mears, who had left to form Foals) morphed into a semi-electronic, partially sample-based outfit that sounds rather like a math rock version of the Go! Team, but here, the most salient point of comparison is Scottish post-rock outfit Mogwai. Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies are markedly more energetic than Mogwai, favoring faster tempos than their northern brethren and occasional bursts of post-hardcore aggression like the aforementioned emo-tinged thrash of "Ores." But lengthy, slowly unfolding songs like "The Pitch and Yaw of Satellites" and "Recovery Speak" feature long instrumental passages that build to furious climaxes before withdrawing to repeat the procedure all over again. There are some clever variations on that form -- "Recovery Speak" suddenly introduces a skronking free jazz saxophone about three minutes in, and "A Little Late He Staggered Through the Door and into Her Eyes" unexpectedly drops out into a ragged a cappella rendition of its chorus -- and the young quartet play with the energy of a band on the rise, but Hurrah! Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last is clearly a somewhat transitional release from a band still in the process of sublimating its influences into something its own.

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