Latin For Truth - Youth Crew Blues (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Latin For Truth

Youth Crew Blues (2011)

Better Days

Latin For Truth are one of the many, many bands to come out of the recent popcore explosion and their 2009 debut Eleven Eleven was instructional booklet of what goes wrong when the musical landscape is over-saturated by a particular genre. One near fatal car accident and an EP later, they've returned with Youth Crew Blues. Where Eleven Eleven sounded like a genre mash-up with all the success of blending oil and water, Youth Crew Blues tempers the contrasts for a much more solid album.

The dueling guitars of "Cool Hand Chuck" veers off into post-hardcore territory that is melodic but it isn't grating when paired with the hardcore growl of the vocals. Before now Latin For Truth seemed like the type of band that said "How come Sick Of It All doesn't have pop-punk records?" and then proceeded to show us exactly why they don't. The band has finally seemed to understand that being dynamic doesn't have to mean throwing a bunch of binary opposites together and hoping for the best. There is still the matter of the ridiculous breakdown they throw in but the song shows growth that they just didn't have before, and with so many bands just doing the same thing over and over out there, that is kind of hopeful.

It is hard to ignore the fact that for every moment that can be praised on Youth Crew Blue, there exists an awkward transition, a forced bit of vocals or something that just doesn't sound good. For every "Leader Of The Ratz And The Children" that blends all the band's influences into something harmonious and listenable, you get a "Gutter Kid Traffick" that sounds like two cats fighting over the same can of sardines.

While I can't fully back Youth Crew Blues, Latin For Truth has grown so much since their debut that I want to like them. The desire to do something non-standard within a trendy genre is risky because if you experiment too much you won't be part of the trend any longer. Latin For Truth seem to have this desire and for perhaps the first time they reveal talent that can go through with it.