Yungblud’s new EP is angsty, bolshy, and suggests there is more to pop-punk’s latest loudmouth than meets the eye.
The opening track “braindead!” keeps it simple with the recurring cry of “I just wanna be pretty brain-dead.” Although the lyrics are a pop-punk Brixton nightmare, the upbeat guitar and indie rock interludes offer up the track as Arctic Monkeys’ and Slaves’ secret lovechild. Yungblud thus discretely declares himself as a millennial who like the rest of us, stayed up all night causing a ruckus and listening to AM on repeat.
The subsequent track “parents” demonstrates Yungblud’s capacity for songwriting. His lyrics are witty, confessional and morbidly dark. He raps: “My daddy put a gun to my head / Said if you kiss a boy, I’m gonna shoot you dead / So I tied him up with gaffer tape and I locked him in a shed.” He follows his satirical story up with the prominent line “It’s alright, we’ll survive / ‘Cause parents ain’t always right.” This is an anthem for teens who don’t always see eye to eye with their parents and are looking for solace elsewhere.
Yungblud’s collaboration with Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons does not disappoint. It tells the story of the millennial struggling with mental health problems but feeling invalidated by other generations who make us feel like our “life ain’t difficult.” The track embraces self-pity when it’s needed but ultimately it gives space to and validates the “underrated youth’s” mental health struggles.
The theme of struggle continues into “casual sabotage”. The album’s almost-titular track, “hope for the underrated youth”, however, gives hope that we can mitigate our struggles with optimism. Yungblud shapes up to be the Jesus of Suburbia’s emotionally-evolved older brother with angsty lyrics that give room for understanding.
The record’s closing track “waiting on the weekend” is another two-minute tease. It’s softer, gentler, and hints at Yungblud’s ability to flit between genres and explore different angles of songwriting. Should Yungblud followup with a full-length album, we’d be interested to hear more of this more candid, acoustic sound.
Overall, the underrated youth is a promising EP from pop-punk’s newest loudmouth. It is heavy on the attitude but also suggests that Yungblud has more to him than meets the eye. And we are certainly intrigued.