Young Leaves [Canada] - Footwork EP (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Young Leaves [Canada]

Footwork EP (2012)


Not to be confused with this band, these Young Leaves hail from Southern Ontario. Remember how in the '90s there were a lot of pop punk/indie bands that started of people calling virtually anything emo? Well that is kind of what Young Leaves remind me of. Their debut EP, Footwork, has shades of Jawbreaker, as well as early Get Up Kids. It shows a band trying to find a place in the punk rock world but still clinging tightly to their influences.

The hookless structures and introspective lyrics of "Melted" and "Trouble Swallowing" are what might lead to a struggle with how to define Young Leaves' music in simple terms. After all, if this is pop-punk shouldn't there be a catchy chorus thrown in here? Maybe some whoa-ohs? Clear cut lyrics about girls? Instead, "Melted" seeks to build and maintain an atmosphere with guitars that hint at Dear You and a consistent but memorable vocal melody. "Melted" actually reminds me a lot of the pre-Weakerthans band, Painted Thin. It would actually be fair to call "Trouble Swallowing" melodic hardcore, as it is mostly a fast-paced punk song that is built around its breakdowns. Actually, I wouldn't have been surprised to have heard this song on the demo of fellow Southern Ontarians, !ATTENTION!, a few years ago.

The abundance of namedropping in this review mostly has to do with the fact that Young Leaves have yet to find their own voice. Considering their name is so close to another band that operates in pretty much the same general genre and area they might want to consider a name change. The two songs here feel like a demo, from both a composition and production standpoint.You can really see their process in synthesizing various aspects of their influences, things just needed a little more time in Young Leaves' melting pot. Footwork is a good start but the band has a long way to go.