Young Livers - The New Drop Era (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Young Livers

The New Drop Era (2007)

No Idea / Kiss of Death

While it seems like nearly every band on No Idea Records is in some way influenced by Hot Water Music, there always seems to be an X factor creating a little bit of diversity. Every post-HWM band on No Idea has it, for the most part: for Bridge and Tunnel, it's a bit of noodly, mellow instrumentation á la American Football; for Small Brown Bike, it was a number of calmer, more reflective moments and wispy guitar tones; and for Young Livers, it's the guitar-driven energy of Drive Like Jehu.

One of my favorite No Idea releases of the last few years, Young Livers are on the brink of greatness. Even though the band (and/or label) is a little chincy calling an eight-song, 21-minute release a "full-length," The New Drop Era is a jarring, energetic release from a collaboration involving members of Fiya, Glass & Ashes and the Horror.

The New Drop Era exudes a certain intensity without losing its delicate sense of angularity and melody, propelled along by frontman Matt Farrell's fierce, gravelly yell. "The Small Hours" provides a picture-perfect example of Young Livers' persistent peculiarity and proficiency, with an irregular, patterned rhythm pulsating along. Guitars chime and dive throughout it, moving things forward in an active motion. Then there's a song like "Non Monumental," where Farrell spits a crooked but catchy chorus ("turning aside, the surface is pensive"). The album then churns and grooves its way through the remaining six tracks, ending in a completely compact fashion.

By the way, these songs are not lost in translation when it comes to the live show. They seriously provided one of the best sets of The Fest, hands down.

The New Drop Era is a very cool release and splendid debut from another of Gainesville's newest groups of promising sons.

The New Drop Era