Posts Tagged ‘Young Guv’

Young Guv – “Try Not To Hang On So Hard”

No slouch year for Ben Cook, it seems. Just weeks after the release of his last record for Run For Cover, Guv I, he announces the release of its fraternal twin Guv II. The first taste of G2 seems to have sprouted from the same well of ‘90s power pop that dominates its brother in arms album from earlier in the year. “Try Not To Hang On So Hard” is just as infected with strums and thick choruses as anything on G1, and despite an origin tale rooted in acid-tripping in his childhood home, there’s no psych ripples here, just thick hooks and sunshine choruses. I’m not gonna belabor someone for leaning on the Fanclub too heavy, especially when the end result finds itself perfectly lodged in my brain for days. The new LP is out on October 25th.



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Young Guv

I may have mentioned that I have a particular soft spot for Young Guv’s 2015 mini-album Ripe 4 Luv, not in the least because it’s Ben Cook’s most pure distillation of his power pop instincts. That statement’s gonna have to be amended, though, because the release of GUV I acts as a direct descendant of that album, dragging the line from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s right into the mid ‘90s for power pop that was thicker, sunnier, and a touch dreamier. There’s less punk edge in this newer vision, but just as much pop. Young Guv has often served as a mutable base for Cook’s musical lens and while last year’s excursion into slippery funk had its charms, it’s clear that his pop heart beats the strongest.

Pick a point in the record and pretty much any track could have ruled the CMJ charts from ’91-’95. Cook’s shuffling his collection, throwing Matthew Sweet LPs into Fanclub sleeves. He’s rolling Velvet Crush licks in sprinkles of Sloan, second-album Superdrag, and L.A. hook-lovers The Blondes. It’s hard not to time shift when the album’s running through it’s almost heartbreakingly short runtime, and there’s some sort of universal injustice that Cook will never play in front of the racks at Sam Goody. Yet, despite this ingrained nostalgia, the songs also feel timeless, like the best pop from any era. They’re full of joy, bittersweet swoons, and a palpable yearning. Cook has proven that when he’s got pop on his side, his records are indispensable treasures there to comfort your core.



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Ben Cook of Young Guv on Robbie M – “Let’s Groove”

When Ben Cook’s not holding down time in Fucked Up he’s genre mining as Young Guv. The solo project began around ’08 knocking through lo-fi garage and eventually winding through power pop and home recorded funk. I’ve always had a soft spot for Cook’s power pop prowess, the bulk of which came to a head on 2015’s Ripe For Love release for Slumberland. He’s returned to some of the same impulses this year with a new record for Run For Cover. Ben took a little time to riffle through his stacks for a record that’s been lost to to time and this one’s looks like it’s had a bit of impact on Cook’s funk sojourn on for Night School last year. Check his dive into Robbie M below.

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Young Guv – “Roll With Me”

This new Young Guv album begins to take greater shape with the arrival of a second single and the lush, power pop vibes are strong here. Not as overtly shiny or as dug deep into the footsteps of The Quick and Milk n’ Cookies as his stunner Ripe 4 Luv, “Roll With Me” shows a creep towards ‘90s indie pop. There’s a quickstep tumble of drums and a shaggy, denim-clad harmony that won’t quite meet your gaze from beneath a nest of bangs. There’s a touch of Fanclub hanging on Big Star’s swoon, a little Elliott Smith and Velvet Crush in the mix and while the familiar feelings put a few hairs up on the back of the neck, he’s capturing the spaces between those artists rather than retracing their steps. Hoping the rest of the album winds up as comfortably melancholy as this one

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Young Guv – “Every Flower I See”

Just in time for summer, Young Guv’s Been Cook is arcing back into the power pop pantheon and ready to fizz things up. The band’s always shone in the short form and the first cut off of the 8-track Guv I skips back to the sunny vibes bouncing ‘round the grooves of Ripe 4 Luv. Last year’s 2 Sad 2 Funk flattened out the pop to something more cynical and slippery, but “Every Flower I See” is sweet and saccharine, full of strums and fuzz and about ready to blow at the seams with cheery vibes. There’s just a touch of bittersweet on the tail end to keep this from rotting the ol chompers, adding some nice balance, but its everything I’ve been waiting for in Young Guv since Ripe hit the turntable. The new record’s out 8/2 on Run For Cover. Check the video above for some instant pop melt.



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Young Guv – “Traumatic”

Ben Cook’s transition from hardcore hammer to lo-fi burner and into power pop perfectionist has seen him master many genres without seemingly breaking a sweat. His previous outing for Slumberland, Ripe For Love, was one of 2015’s best (and yet somehow most overlooked) record. He continues to work towards the ’80s pop vein that’s been pulsing through his later work, though this time he’s turned down the power and slipped on a shade of New Wave that’s got him echoing Nick Lowe through a warm cassette player. The first cut from his upcoming single also taps a touch of early synthpop to the party, marrying the aesthetics of Strawberry Switchblade to the subtle sheen of Shoes-styled pristine pop. At this point I’m sold on Young Guv’s pop mastery and as long as he keeps churning out gems like this, I’m on the hook for life.

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Young Guv – “Crawling Back To You”

Still hooked on the sugar sweet hooks of Young Guv’s modern power pop masterpiece from last year and this video serves as a great reminder why the album’s feelings of lost youth are so strong. Eschewing the obvious tale of lovers reconciling the video follows a young boy breaking free from the tedium of shopping to play in a local mall, only to realize that at the end of the day the comfort of his mom is as welcomed as his freedom. The song’s still a standout from the album and if you have not picked this one up by now, you’re sorely in need.

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Best of 2015


Its been a long year at RSTB and though the pace may have been slower on the face, there has been lots going on to be sure. Next year marks our 10 year anniversary and we’ll have a new look shortly, so stay tuned. There will also some other fun things to mark the anniversary as 2016 wears on. But enough of the future, let’s look to the past. Here are my favorites of 2015, as usual in no particular order, along with a mix of tracks.

Blank Realm – Illegals In Heaven (BUY)
Dick Diver – Melbourne, Florida (BUY)
Colleen Green – I Want To Grow Up (BUY)
Young Guv – Ripe For Love (BUY)
Sir Richard Bishop – Tangier Sessions (BUY)
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Paper Mâché Dream Balloon (BUY)
Wand – Golem (BUY) // 1000 Days (BUY)
Thee Oh Sees – Mutilator Defeated At Last (BUY)
Ben Chatwin – The Sleeper Awakes (BUY)
Mikal Cronin – MCIII (BUY)
Twerps – Range Anxiety (BUY)
Future Punx – This Is Post-Wave (BUY)
Sean McCann – Ten Impressions for Piano and Strings (BUY)
The Mantles – All Odds End (BUY)
Barreracudas – Can Do Easy (BUY)
Peacers – Peacers (BUY)
Love Axe – South Dakota (BUY)
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – A Year With 13 Moons (BUY)
Fuzz – II (BUY)
Sauna Youth – Distractions (BUY)
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love (BUY)
Swiftumz – Everybody Loves Chris (BUY)
Rabit – Communion (BUY)
Holly Herndon – Platform (BUY)
Herbcraft – Wot Oz (BUY)


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