Juvenescent Beat! is still a fairly nascent act, but it's an existence that will hopefully be recognized with One Day We're Gonna Fall Through This Roof.
The band's debut full-length is a pretty powerful, refreshing take on Revolution Summer emo, updated for the modern era with more restraint and thought in delivery, complemented by more chorus dynamics and semi-noodly riffs. The recording on this vinyl-only album is a little rough, but it doesn't at all mask the band's passion, which works best when lively and on edge.
It's fun picking out the band's influences too, from the undeniably Rites of Spring vibes pervading the somewhat spazzy "I Don't Want to Spend New Year's in a Coma" to the slightly panicked, Moss Icon-nodding spoken-word parts in "Sad Songs About Rivers and Meadows" and "He Used to Say About the Apocalypse, Now He Just Raps About Bitches and Money." The latter of those latter two has some fantastic, subtle time changes that give the song an equally fantastic, fluid motion.
It's good to hear a band who actually sound like they mean it and warrant being called emotional. "Who's going to be my glue?" exclaims their vocalist, Dick, in "Somewhere Between Lion's Strength and Reckless Vulnerability," sounding just exasperated when he answers himself: "You. It was always you," followed by those guitars with that resonating, heart-panging touch. Melodic hardcore touches grace the central track, "Footnote," but clean tempo changes and slower takes make sure it stays within the album's context well.
What keeps Roof from really succeeding through and through is its top-heaviness. Early on, track after track just compels; the second half, not so much. Granted, it has some moments that are still really compelling: "I Have More Tact in My Middle Finger Than You Do in Your Entire Body" is one of the album's most complex and has those gravelly, manic shouts that bring everything together perfectly; closer "It's Not About the Money, It's About the Glory" has some great tenacity, though you expect a stronger, more epic finish for a start that's so overwhelming.
Add some Nation of Ulysses-esque social and personal philosophical thought in the liner notes and lyrical content and Roof is a nearly complete package with some seriously astounding moments. Here's to hoping Juvenescent Beat! work at their songcraft a little more, because an album full of "...New Year's in a Coma"s and "...Reckless Vulnerability"s would probably inspire another whole creative wave of heart-baring, '80s-sounding punks.
I Don't Want to Spend New Year's in a Coma
He Used to Say About the Apocalypse, Now He Just Raps About Bitches and Money
Every High Wire Walker Needs a Safety Net