Brutal Youth - Bottoming Out (Cover Artwork)

Brutal Youth

Bottoming Out (2015)

Paper and Plastick

Canadian melodic/hardcore punkers Brutal Youth just dropped a new five-song EP, Bottoming Out, which in my mind at least constitutes their best effort to date. The tunes are fast, loud and concise, clocking in at barely eight minutes, and the whole release flows quite seamlessly. In fact even knowing it's an EP and only has a few songs I get caught by surprise every time it ends and am left craving for more… but then again length is a fair tradeoff when the material is so good. (I guess this is what the repeat button was made for!)

The cover art is a bit intriguing because yes, that is indeed what it looks like it is: a photo of a floating house. It was apparently taken during the 60's Newfoundland resettlements, when whole communities where emptied and thousands of people were displaced. The sentiment seems to be echoed in the title track with the lines "nowhere to go now that the foundation crumbled / everything you thought you knew about yourself reduced to rubble".

True to their fashion there's a lot of POUND-POUND-POUNDing, but there are moments taken to lay back and chill a bit in the riffage, even if as you can guess it's only building up to an even more powerful eruption. The production sounds pretty raw, and was apparently recorded live off the floor and mostly without a metronome... although drummer Kae (who's last recording with Brutal Youth this was; her pedals are now being filled by Tim from The Lillingtons) is as good a time warden as any machine could hope to be.

Brutal Youth continue their well honed blend of pop-punk and more hardcore elements, and now maybe I'm just making shit up at this point but I feel that while this album fits together better than any before, it also sounds more diverse. The instrumentation is amped up to 11 but low on frills thus leaving plenty of room for Patty to sing and scream and shout his lungs out of their sockets (alongside bandmates' backing vocals such as on the woah-laden "Rancor"). Honestly I'd love to sing along (the lyrics hit pretty close to home) but it's just impossible to keep up haha.

Bottoming Out by Brutal Youth