Always Lose is the debut album from England’s South Coast pop-rockers, The Gospel Youth and is due for release TOMORROW via Rise Records/Velocity Records! It’s 10 tracks of awesome – filled with honest lyrics, catchy choruses and almost too much angst for my small emo heart to handle.
After a busy year or so gearing up to the release of the album, the band have played shows with the likes of Deaf Havana and Hands Like Houses, have crowdfunded and released a dozen singles, and are currently across the pond playing all summer long on the Vans Warped Tour.
Opener, “I Will Deliver You To The Fireflies” starts us off. I’m a sucker for a bit of piano so hearing it flowing alongside vocalist, Sam Little’s gorgeous tones for the a whole verse was enough to make me really listen. The addition of drums in the second verse, followed by a massive chorus creates a nice contrast over the 3 and a half minutes. I’m probably not the first and certainly won’t be the last to say that his voice sounds a bit like Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy) and Brendon Urie (Panic! At The Disco) at times, but with enough emotion, power and control to make it distinctive in his own way. Bravo, Sam.
Next up is “Gin and Black Coffee” – a faster-paced, energetic track which brings back memories of some early-mid 00’s pop-punk bangers. “Wildfire” follows this, with its super-relatable lyrics that will no doubt resonate with a majority of listeners in some way – “I am anxious, I am scared, I am anything but well prepared.” Along with everything else, The Gospel Youth are particularly great at writing and delivering the kind of choruses and hooks that will get stuck in your head for days, such as the one in “Tired Eyes And Heavy Hearts” – you can’t help singing along and if you close your eyes you can almost feel what it’d be like to stand in the crowd at one of their shows and hear the hundreds of people around you singing every word back to them.
“Your Love Was A Cancer” is about never wanting to see someone again. The lyrics are clever, the guitar riffs and melodies provided by Julian Bowen and Kev Deverick are huge, sometimes intricate, and the drum fills from Kurtis Maiden are very impressive (throughout the whole album, in fact). A stand out track in my view. Track 6, “Revolutions” slows things down with some more piano/vocal combos and a sonic juxtaposition that’s downbeat yet hopeful. There’s also a cracking high note before the final chorus that caused me to raise both eyebrows in appreciation.
Now if you’re a fan of the band, you’ll recognise the next one. “Moods Like English Weather” was released on 24th May as the lead single for the album, with a video to accompany it. If you’re in an emotional, “need to get things off your chest” kinda mood – this will become one of your go-to songs! It’s angsty, melancholic and sums up in under 4 minutes the stuff I’m sure we’ve all felt at some point.
“Kids”, although not a stand out for me, is a nice addition because of it’s ties with the beginnings of these guys. “Jules [Bowen] and I wanted to work together and when he showed me the song “Kids”, I instantly loved it.”, says Sam. The penultimate track is “Spirit Of Boston” – full of energy, had me head-nodding along from start to finish and one that I feel would translate really well into their live show.
Rounding us off is “Bloodlines//Love Stopped Me Coming Home”. It’s relatable, bold and addresses the issue of dealing with your own insecurities and flaws in a positive and progressive way. Big drums and big guitars lead into an outro with the same soothing piano and vocals that we started with, bringing Always Lose full circle.
The Gospel Youth have done a sterling job – they are definitely one to watch and the album is one to listen to…probably over and over again.