Every once in a while I get behind on what bands are doing or new ones that pop up. The case with L.A.’s Youth Code is that I had been hearing their name in numerous places: blogs, shows, zines, and maybe even some message boards. Initially I didn’t pay much mind. Curiosity got the best of me one day and I reached to Tre from Deathwish. No idea why I’d ask him since he potentially doesn’t like some of the stuff I’d be into. But hey, it was worth a shot. His description of them was somewhere along the lines of Sleigh Bells but less dance-y and less pretentious than some dude in Poison the Well. Ouch!.
Thank goodness for Spotify. Off I went. My very initial reaction on listening to their self-titled album was that they were no more than emulating Skinny Puppy. Early Skinny Puppy that is. And although Skinny Puppy is one of my favorite industrial music bands, I was a bit turned off by this thought.
But fear not.
A week or two later I listened to the album again. Then it clicked. Having a similar sound to Skinny Puppy is a good thing. But Youth Code embody a more hardcore punk ethos in their approach. Listening to them you get the clear impression that they don’t give a fuck and they will pummel you with their sounds on their own terms. I dig that in a band.
So being the OCD record nerd that I am, I went looking for their LP. Released by Dais Records, who have also done stuff from Cold Cave, King Dude, Missing Foundation, and more, were close to sold out of the first pressing. The only color available at the time was the Black out of 500 pressed. The other colors initially available were a Smoke out of 100 and a red out of 400. But lo and behold, checking out Deathwish’s distro section they had the Red. So I snapped it up.
Got the Red version and left it at that. Then a couple of months later, I saw a post on a vinyl message board, that a guy who used to be in Nothing and Night Sins, two great bands out of Philly, was selling some stuff on eBay. Thinking that it’d be just Nothing and Night Sins, I checked it out and much to my surprise he was also selling the Smoke version of the YC LP. Sweet! Ended up winning it along with some Nothing and Night Sins stuff also. Double score!
The Youth Code LP is great. There is no doubt about it. If you’re a fan of “classic” industrial music with a punch, then this is for you. Trust me.
The band is in town right now here in good ol’ South FloriDUH! playing a few shows. Two actually. They played last night at an in-store at Radio-Active Records in Ft. Lauderdale. It was a small and very intimate (cheesy word to be using considering the style of music!) performance and they decimated the place. Getting a chance to talk to both Sara and Ryan before and after their performance, they were both super nice and friendly people. The entirety of the show I was (and still am) in excruciating pain. Not from “moshing” or going nuts. Oh no. Wish it were that. Recently (the day before) I was diagnosed with an epidermal inclusion cyst right at my lower back. Not only is it inflamed but it’s painful to the point that it has me in tears. Sitting or even laying on my back proves to be a chore. A painful one at that. So much so that it’s causing my whole back to be stiff and tightened. Ouch!
So thanks to that I can’t make it tonight to their show at Gramps Bar in Miami. It bums me out because it’s going to be a proper show for them showing the full effect of their sound and performance. The pain has overcome by will to overcome. Ha!
But Ryan mentioned that they may be coming back down this way next year. Hope it is so.
So if you’re intrigued by Youth Code, and you should be, check them out. A new pressing of the LP is up for pre-order at Dais Records. New colors and the cover art has been redone. So it’s like a whole new record!
And check out their video for “Carried Mask”. Watching it and listening to the song makes wanna get up and fuck shit up!