About Youth League:
In George’s Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four, Julia Dixon wore a red sash around her waist to symbolize her membership in the severe, dogmatic Junior Anti Sex League. Readers will of course remember this to be not only a false diversion, but also something of a shield – a metaphorical lid placed publicly on the top of a vat brimming with subversion, of thoughts and actions which existed only to defy the status quo.
Youth League, a similarly-named trio from Wilmington, N.C., feels similar in approach, if more sunny in disposition. Brothers Mike and Zach Large, on guitar/vocals and drums respectively, formed the band in 2014 from the ashes of math aggressors Virgin Lung. They brought in bassist Jaffar Omar Obi Castillon-Martinez and created songs which defy the conventions on which they’re built, yet hit the ear with a natural familiarity.
On First EP, Youth League weaves layers of guitar loops, manic drumming, bass tapping, inviting whispers, and desperate hollers into songs which are over before you recognize that you just got clobbered over the head.
Clocking in at just 16 minutes, it’s hard to tell if these six jams are punk ragers with a deceptive technical streak running throughout, or thunderous prog/math compositions that never descend into repetetive self parody or distracted, noodly exploration. Topping it off are sounds at odds with either tradition: the celebratory, the uplifting, the instantly singable. Youth League calls it Post Pop. Whatever it is, it’s great.