The follow-up to their 2017 debut album, Young Enough leaves behind some of the grungier corners of Guppy while doubling down on caffeinated alt-rock anthems. That's to say they don't abandon distortion and animated rock drums, but prominent synths and a more extroverted and aerodynamic front land a little closer to No Doubt than the Breeders while remaining on that continuum. Following albums with acts including Morrissey and the Front Bottoms, Joe Chiccarelli produced the record. "Blown to Bits" kicks things off with a needling synth tone before the rest of the band and, eventually, overdriven guitar and crashing cymbals join in. On that song, lead singer Eva Hendricks' distinctively bright, almost helium-like vocals are mixed high above the clatter, much like they are on songs like the punk-poppy, noodling "Under You" and "Bleach." At least as often, though, Hendricks' hooky melodies are given space in sleeker arrangements such as on the borderline dance-pop of "Chat Room" and the mid-tempo "Capacity," with its combination of rumbly and bloopy textures providing supportive surfaces more than competition. Even the more reflective "Young Enough" has atmospheric synths and echoing guitars that approximate a ground-level fog that never reaches Hendricks' height. Meanwhile, lyrics including "I used to think that I should be good at everything/Now I know I was wrong/I used to think that I should do right by everyone/Now I know I was wrong" navigate the hard lessons and unknowns of young adulthood. Ultimately, Young Enough outshines a promising debut, delivering a steady mix of summery earworms and angst.
AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson