Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Young Lions "1982-84: From the Vaults" LP

The YOUNG LIONS were the first hardcore band in Toronto. They made the transition between the punk and hardcore scene. So they were considered part of the first wave that was actually trying to be a punk. Speed and convictions were added to the mix along with a sleuth of punk inspiration by then to make for a unique blend of hardcore. It’s the early hardcore that we all crave. In 1986 a local label by the name of Yodel Gems releases a full length by the YOUNG LIONS titled “Welcome to the Freak Show”. It was not the YOUNG LIONS that most people from Toronto remembered. By then the YOUNG LIONS were inspired by the REPLACEMENTS and a rock sound that was coming out of Minneapolis. For a lot of folks from here that left them yearning for the old demos. I can’t count how many times people from the local scene referred me to these old demos over the album. And for a long time this release was championed by Brian Tailor of YOUTH YOUTH YOUTH. In fact I understand that he was a huge help in mastering a bunch of the songs on here. This is the first of a Toronto hardcore series and I have to say I am pretty blown away with how it turned out. There are 14 tracks on here of varying degrees of sound quality but it is all way better than the shitty second and third generation tapes I have in my collection. There are a lot of songs on here that I have never heard or heard of before. There is a great liner sheet that has a piece from Mike Graham of the SUBHUMANS and an interview that Jill Heath did with the band back in the day. The discography notes are the most complete I have ever seen for the YOUNG LIONS. The cover looks a lot like the first FORGOTTEN REBELS LP. Songs like “Things are Gonna Change” remind me of the early CLASH. Songs like “One Brick at a Time” sound like early STIFF LITTLE FINGERS, which are a reflection of the band’s commitment to the Rock Against Racism cause. Songs like “Guns and Children” remind me of the GO-GO’s, which demonstrates that they were part of a period in time. The band has a strong lyrics that were clearly action oriented in songs like “United” which is a song about trying to break people of their apathy. This is a band to remember and a release that remembers them in the way that folks from here have been trying to do for over 25 years. This LP does them justice. The songs on here are:
1. United
2. Young Amerikkka
3. National Security
4. We Wanna Riot
5. Shithole
6. Rich kid
7. Guns and Children
8. Things are Gonna Change
9. One Brick at a time
10. Goodnight Belfast
11. Bloodless
12. Defy the State
13. Made in England
14. Royal Killers
There is also a bonus single with Pray for Julie.
(Schizophrenic Records – 17 West 4th Street / Hamilton, ON / L9C 3M2 / Canada / www.schizoprhenicrex.com) - SP

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