The Building Press – Young Money

4 out of 5

Label: 54º40′ Or Fight!

Produced by: Jay Pellici

This band. This album. If I was smart enough to play music, there are bands I kinda wish I could sound like, but that I know my brain wouldn’t be able to approximate. Instead, I suspect I’d be writing Young Money. Just maybe with less cringey lyrics.

All of that sounds like criticism to an extent. Lyrics aside – which are still probably better than the proetic crap I’d dream up, to be fair – it’s not meant to be. What’s here is not a display of a shortage of skill, or a lack of complexity. Rather that my creative sensibilities tend toward the deconstructive, but with an appreciation for a good riff; Young Money is all about that, letting crisp and clear and rocking moments drift into clipped noise, and warbling blasts. Building off of the cleaner sound of their preceding album, this is like the guttural response, pissed off at their younger selves’ lack of emotion. “You’re like the punchline to a bad joke,” is the opening quip from guitarist AP Schroder, distorted to fuck and back via Jay Pellici’s raw, brutal production style while the guitar and bass and drums play a staccato beat that shatters speakers.

The lyrics are not the focus, and used more for punctuation; they maintain the same forced bluntness throughout though, which is kinda hokey, but it does work in its contribution to the mood, which morphs between skittery, loosely played rhythms and sudden bravado, but not in a typical build and release fashion, moving instead of undulations: the music suggests a peak and then fades away, and then a big wave comes in that gentle wake.

I still cringe at lyrics like “young money / it’s all over this town / but it’s never at my house,” but I also still am utterly affected by the pendulum of emotions on the album, loving how it swings from gentle to intense inexplicably, but also somehow organically. It’s very human. As such, a little embarrassing at times, a little imperfect, but then also capable of incredible achievements, with every track on the album ultimately bringing the latter to bear.