Great album; punk rock classic; YB has done better, though
latjoor | Madison, Wisconsin, USA | 07/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While Oi! was transforming the UK punk scene, hardcore was doing the same in the US. Youth Brigade was somewhere in between the two, certainly a US hardcore band but their fast, fist-pounding songs actually had a melody that you could sing along with. In a scene dominated by nihilism, they were a voice for unity, and they saw a chance for punks to do something good. Youth Brigade expresses despair and exasperation with the world's problems without preaching, much like Bad Religion, but they are different in that they offer an alternative: that we can maintain hope and work together for a better future. Musically, this album is actually a bit slower, on the whole, than much of their later stuff. It has more variety, as well, there is no single beat to this album, unlike the vast majority of punk albums in existence. Unfortunately, not all of the songs are equally catchy, and I have found that this album doesn't stand the test of time as well as others. In particular, the band sounds better on the faster songs, and although Sean Stern has a great voice, on the slower songs he wavers a bit at times and sounds off-key. The production quality is poor -- the sound is thin and tinny -- but that's par for the course for the era, when it cost a lot of money to make a good-sounding record and even the best punk bands were too strapped for cash to afford it. Turn up the volume and you'll forget about it. This is a great album, but I would reccomend Someone's Got Their Head To Believe In Something and To Sell the Truth ahead of it; on those records the band has a tighter sound and the singing sounds more self-assured. (Note that the former is actually a compilation, but has a number of Youth Brigade songs that aren't published elsewhere.)"
Brooks D. Groves Jr. | Seattle, WA United States | 02/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Needed to get some good old school punk, and I am glad I have this CD! Go get it, if you like old school. While the days may be gone, the music still fits the bill these days. Good solid sound!!"