Young Guv - GUV 1 (Cover Artwork)

Young Guv

GUV 1 (2019)


“Everybody seems to be going through some things from what I’ve seen / I’m feeling it bad today,” croons Young Guv mastermind Ben Cook on “Didn’t Even Cry.” The track falls in the middle of GUV 1, the latest release from Young Guv and Cook, who shares writing duties in hardcore bands No Warning and Fucked Up. The song explores themes of isolation, connection, and love which preoccupy the songwriter’s musings across the eight songs found GUV 1.

Whether exploring the hesitancy and nervousness of new love, see “Roll With Me,” or the apathy driven loneliness that dominates blue days, see “Exceptionally Ordinary,” Young Guv mix jangly pop songs with melancholic musings on the human condition. Cook flips back and forth between the two sides of this coin. On the aforementioned “Exceptionally Ordinary,” he confesses his desire to escape reality remarking, “I don’t care if life stays blue / I guess it’s what I’m going through.” On “Every Flower I See,” which acts as a thematic connection for the release, Cook candidly implores a new love interest “Don’t go now / Cause I’ve only begun to get to know you” while wondering if they are daydreaming to the same clouds.

The hazy scenes Cook paints in couplets are matched with similarly minded musical compositions. Never known for standing still, Young Guv largely abandon the synths and dancy vibes that populated last year’s 2 Sad 2 Funk for early 90s radio rock and Beatles-esque compositions. See the aforementioned “Didn’t Even Cry” which comes across as one of the Fab Four fronting R.E.M. A more contemporary comparison point may be Angel Du$t’s Pretty Buff.

While the release enjoyably plods through its 22-minute length, it may take a couple listens to let the toplines shine through. GUV 1 can sound a bit monotonous if put on as background music. It’s not until listening to this following along with the lyrics that memorable moments get to pop out. But when they do, they certainly deliver. The fuzzed-out guitar solo on “Every Flower I See” or the simple drum beats that backbone these songs like on closer “A Boring Story” exemplify this.

Young Guv’s GUV 1 is an enjoyably aesthetic effort. If you’re willing to purposefully see your way through the haze, clarifying moments will grab your attention and provide the soundtrack to those cloudy summer days.