Album review – GUV III by Young Guv (2022) (Hand Drawn Dracula Records)

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The album release bio for GUV III details Ben Cook’s (aka Young Guv and long standing Fucked Up guitarist) journey towards self realisation, describing how the alienation of living in a New Mexico desert, in a tiny five man commune, enabled him to reflect upon how ‘connections’ could be the only meaning of life.
Of course, all of the above sounds like the backdrop story to yet another sadcore, bedroom-pop diatribe of doe-eyed, forlorn sounds, produced through the compulsorymelancolic haze, before being foisted upon a cassette label somewhere. 
However, this reaction to isolation is vastly different and revolves around material force rather than any sense of mithering, as Cook takes us on a journey of both perfect dynamic power-pop and decidely more suave pop rock, that is all swathed in the gregarious yesteryear. 
Initially, the pop rock is smooth and slightly psyche inflected. Couldn’t Leave U If I Tried, Scam Likely  and April of My Life, all take the melody driven, lo-fi less drivelanguid end of The Beatles catalogue and add an 8 track production feel, that not only gives the sound a slight Bon Iver style mystery, but also adds some modernity to the 60s pop vibe.
However, as Young Guv has displayed consistently over his previous three albums, the most invigorating of his sound is found in the raw energy of his power-pop. This genre is delivered in several nuances.
Good Time and She Don’t Cry for Anyone adopts the early Teenage Fanclub sweet melodic end of the genre, whereas It’s Only Dancin’, Lo Lo Loney and the superlative standout, Same Old Fool, offer all things driven and 70s/80s muscular.
Nestled between the above two nuances are certainly the most beautifully jangly tracks on the album, with Take Up All My Time and But I Aint Got You presenting the sort of slight jangle-gaze meets chiming, jangly indie-pop sound that is so respledent in the The Reds, Pinks and Purples and The Ashenden Papers aesthetic.
This sort of modern day, dynamic jangly power-pop, could be the saviour of the genre and prevent it dying a death with the current middle-aged acts who tend to run the current power-pop show ! “…the King is dead, all hail the King”
 

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