Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The anti climate can be just as compelling as anything else. The taut anticipation - the tension that feels like another layer of skin - can be intoxicating, even when we believe it will all end in a puff of smoke, a light touch or a barely recognizable exhalation. There's something about nothing happening, when there's a real feeling that something might happen. It's only when it doesn't, or it happens where we can't see it, that we often feel thankful that nothing happened.
The music of Australian band Youth Group is a little like this sensation, where the anticlimactic is somewhat preferable. It can still surprise and it can still be as dramatic as anything else. It can actually be more so. They are false ends, parts of the story that seem to be stuck in time or lodged between two potential results, with the needle not moving one way or the other in any direction. The way that lead singer Toby Martin tells these stories leads us to think that there's going to be more coming, but it might not be for a very long time. It will be a waiting game. It will be a sluggish wait, something that's going to age a man. It might be exactly what's desired though as he sings about lengthening time and about how he'd prefer to have it lengthened in less interesting ways.
On "Good Time, he sings, "I had myself a good time/And now I don't feel like myself/I had myself a good time/And now I don't feel like myself/I went down to the railyards to buy myself some time/The sky there goes on forever/It feels like you're at the end of the earth." Elsewhere on this session - recorded prior to the band going on a hiatus, Martin sings like he's fighting through a drag and there's nothing to do but to pull back, to not fight it any more. He's looking for oblivion, "the place where the horizon ends." Even there, he might hope for another oblivion to look for next.