Young Statues

Flatlands Are Your Friend

What a difference an album makes. Young Statues' second full-length, Flatlands Are Your Friend, has a shocking amount of depth to it. It also sounds like a different band than the one who played on 2011's self-titled debut. It's still rooted in book-ish indie rock, but here, the Death Cab For Cutie-isms—which are all over the place—are drenched in a wonderfully slinky, sultry, dark ’80s new-wave sound, whereas their debut was more of a simplistically jangly affair.

Opener "Natives" focuses more on the band's pounding Death Cab side, inasmuch as a band like Death Cab ever pound, which is very little; still, it's a total attack compared to the subdued awesomeness of what follows: "Run The River Dry" is a reminder of why guitar players ruled in the ’80s, and the intro riff to "Don't Fight The Mirage"? Well, again, the Death Cabism threatens to become too much to handle, but instead just sounds absolutely incredible. Best indie riff of the year? Show me one better.

"Got The Knife" and "Further Away" slow things down even more, and it works: this band's rock songs work but these quiet ones work even better. Unfortunately, the album loses steam and feels like it goes on for a good three songs too long; at 41 minutes it becomes a bit of a downer, but at 31 it could have been something I'd reach for a lot more often. Still, they've shown incredible progress in a great, fresh, new direction. Looking forward to what they come up with for album No. 3.

Run For Cover

"Run The River Dry"