Harrogate is in North Yorkshire, and it’s an idyllic, peaceful little spa town that in recent-ish years has spawned Blood Youth, one of the most exciting hardcore bands to emerge on these shores. If Harrogate could somehow gain sentience, it would be a fun experiment to expose it to the band’s latest fist-clenching, lung-raking LP Beyond Repair – if just to see what it would look like for a whole town to faint in horror.
Their formation echoes an archetypal story of a set of kids that weren’t doing what they were meant to do, and were actually fitting into normative society a bit too well – it’s no surprise that inane telemarketing and office work was the spark plug for the formation of Blood Youth. In every hacking riff is a rejection of the ideals that demand education is followed by a sensible job, which is then followed by retirement which is then followed by death. The record, while remaining very personal and focused, manages to be thrilling and anarchic purely in the way it is performed.
The bread and butter of of Beyond Repair lies in the band’s observations on heartbreak and how people deal differently with trauma; this is pure catharsis in head-throbbing, throat-scorching form.
‘What I’m Running From’ deals with the inevitable knock in self-esteem that usually accompanies a messy break up. ‘Reason To Stay’ finds Tarsus in apologetic form (partly), and showcases his fine-tuned songwriting (which is evident on tracks 1-10). ’Pulling Teeth’ absolutely thrums with menace and unholy guitar-work. The mid-song switches between thrashing and screaming to more traditional rock work flawlessly and paint the guitarist Chris Pritchard in a revelatory light. I made a mental note to check if he doubles for the rig-bound guitarist in Mad Max: Fury Road.
Beyond Repair ends up being a variety of different enthralling things, but it excels by charting the horrors of separation and then offering a tonic to that pain that will make you feel like your heart’s about to explode. In a good way, this time.
Beyond Repair is out on April 7th via Rude Records.