Youth Group: Skeleton Jar

Within the first half minute, I liked Youth Group – the only question was how much. The quartet from Australia has a gem with their sophomore release, Skeleton Jar. The first cut “Shadowland” opens the album with a sonic tidal wave of grace and power. Songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Toby Martin casts a heavy melancholy flavor over the otherwise generally upbeat musical arrangements. His delivery and sense of phrasing is at times reminiscent of the late Kurt Cobain, most notably in “Lillian Lies;” the song also features some of the darker lyrics with a tinge of optimism that typifies the band: “when everything

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