Some groups like to work under a banner and/or manifesto and with a name like the Young Conservatives the band are no exception to that with theirs being as follows:
"Not young. Not Conservative. An analogy for the modern state. The diluted mediocrity of 21st century British politics. Endless rhetoric and vitriol on what we are against because of our fundamental inability and unwillingness to actually define what it is we stand for."
This is a grand statement indeed and one that really needs to be backed up with actions as well as words, which I'm happy to report, is the case here. With members from bands such as Voorhees, The Horror (not to be confused with the awful group, The Horrors) and The Magnificent, this is definitely a group with a background in the British hardcore / post—hardcore scene and their opening gambit is one designed to engage and befriend those with a similar frame of mind i.e. disillusioned and disenfranchised.
Musically Young Conservatives really do a good job of reminding me of what I was hearing from Dischord around 25—30 years ago with there being a clear sense of reaction to what is being encountered on a daily basis, resulting in a distinct need to rail against that shit or take the consequences and just wither and die a painful death.
The six tracks on this debut release bring to the fore the essence of bands such as Rites of Spring, Soulside, Dag Nasty and of course perhaps the biggest gun that Dischord unleashed on the world, Fugazi. I'm not just listing these bands to seem cool or even make the Young Conservatives seem cool â?? this goes way beyond being a popularity trip â?? but when I was listening to this for the first time they were the inevitable connections I heard within the music. But it wasn't only the music that gave me that feeling. I remember as a youngster listening to Dischord releases and getting a sense of so much more going on around the bands and I was fascinated by the whole idea of the Dischord House, the label and the way people were in so many bands in such a short space of time. I don't doubt that the members of the Young Conservatives have similar memories of those heady days and this has helped them form what they're trying to do. The other positive is that this is far from being a nostalgia trip either â?? there's a undoubtedly a need for punk to once again become a threat rather than the cartoon caricature that so many â??normal' people think of whenever punk is mentioned. The Young Conservatives are taking up the baton and will hopefully be able to pass it on to many more likeminded people to stand up and be counted.
In trying to achieve a similar feeling to those earlier Dischord bands, the recording is quite rudimentary, without impacting negatively on the listening quality. I really love the sound of the bass which pumps away throughout, adding vibrancy to the tracks and helping to propel them along. Vocally I was a bit unsure on the opening lines of the first track, "Young Conservatives", as I wasn't sure that the style fitted in but it won me over later on in the song and I never looked back from there. From the guitar I can pick up moments on "Stock Footage" that remind me of Dag Nasty, which is never a bad thing â?? it's also my favourite track on the record just ahead of the 37 second blast of "#11" which is the most direct and in your face of the songs on the 12". This record really does lift the soul whilst also acting as a rallying call, as much against apathy as against the perpetrators of the problems faced in the world. With a limited run of 300 copies I'd suggest getting hold of one quickly.
It might be a tough road for any band named after a much reviled collection of individuals, but perhaps that is the reason why it was chosen. They are likely to cause some people to get the wrong impression but sometimes confrontation is the way to address the discontent felt and what better way than creating a mark that opens discussion. The Young Conservatives certainly have the balls to front up to the disgruntlement that so many of us face these day. Hell, it's like punk could be dangerous again!