Brutal Youth - Rebuilding Year (Cover Artwork)

Brutal Youth

Rebuilding Year (2023)

Stomp Records

The World Health Organization has declared that COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency and there’s no better way to get pumped about the rest of 2023 than by blasting Rebuilding Year by Brutal Youth. Having seen the band live three times within nine months leading up to the album’s release in April, I was itching to finally get my ears on proper recordings of some of these new songs that were appearing on the setlist.

The opening track, “Juice Cleanse”, could quite possibly be the band’s best two-minute banger to date. It’s anthemic chorus of “All torn up!” was already stuck in my mind from those energetic live sets and hearing it on record only cemented it further. There is not much deviation from this point forward for the following 26-minutes as things remain fast, heavy, and full of punch n’ shout choruses. This is not a place for sonic exploration or experimenting with slower song tempos. Other standout tracks include “Through The Teeth”, which clocks in over three-minutes making it the longest Brutal Youth song to date, as well as the album closer, “Rebuilding Year.”

The album is a very full and vibrant sounding release considering how much crashing and bashing is going on. The listener can clearly hear everything, including lots of bass and rumbling tom drums. I make a point of noting this because I never really dug their first release as it sounded tinny and trebly by comparison. The lyrical content from vocalist Patty O’Lantern ranges from feelings of everyday life to what it’s like always wearing a Weird Al Yankovic shirt (that one thing they all talk about). Overall, the quality of the fast riffs and pummelling beats that are being executed here along with some inspirational messages, like how you get back what you put in, can give hope for everyone to have a rebuilding year.