January 27, 2023

Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth (1980) ☠

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 21 tracks total.
A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Post Punk, New Wave
Label Number: ROUGH US 89
☠: Selected by Lass
© 1980-1990 Rough Trade
As punk rock was quickly morphing into post-punk at the end of the '70s, Welsh trio Young Marble Giants went against the amplified aggression and stylistic chaos of many of their peers, instead creating new worlds of expression through subtraction. The band's vacuous sound was almost jarringly minimal, with incredibly catchy songs consisting of Alison Statton's stoic vocals, fluid electric bass, unwavering skeletal drum machine rhythms, and the occasional stab of guitar or haunted organ sounds. The group were short-lived, leaving behind only a few EPs, demos, and Colossal Youth, their sole full-length album from 1980, but their influence would ripple out to inform the sounds of future independent music creators from Nirvana to Belle and Sebastian. Colossal Youth perfectly captures the band's unique approach, with 15 short songs of their stark but rough-edged pop. Before forming Young Marble Giants, Statton and brothers Philip and Stuart Moxham had all played together in a band called True Wheel, who took their name from the title of a song on Brian Eno's 1974 outing Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy). While Eno's flirtations with funk and Kraftwerk's bare-bones electronic rhythms were reference points for Young Marble Giants' sound, it's hard to locate many other implicit influences on Colossal Youth. The sinister crawl of "N.I.T.A." and lonely riffing of "Music for Evenings" could serve as foundations for the songs of other post-punk bands, but few dared to present something so intentionally empty. The album's most conventionally structured songs -- tunes like atmospheric opener "Searching for Mr. Right" or the would-be rock & roll of "Credit in the Straight World" -- are defined by the sharp tension created by their unfinished-feeling arrangements. That moody tension co-exists with relatively cheery songwriting throughout Colossal Youth, maintaining a strange balance between the two contrasting energies for the entire album. Young Marble Giants weren't the only band to explore pop minimalism, but no one else during their time or afterwards quite captured the eerie beauty that floats through every moment of Colossal Youth. Its songs sound like a private party in an empty house, with every facet of the sound aiming to take up as little space as possible. Listening to Colossal Youth, it's easy to see how this introverted album full of tiny sounds made such an enormous impact.

 tags: young marble giants, colossal youth, 1980, flac,

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