Over the years, there have been plenty of reasons to appreciate Young Widows. After listening to 2008’s Old Wounds, I was particularly attracted to the huge Duane Denison inspired guitar riffs and earth-shaking bass lines. Then in 2011 the band released a much more vocally driven record called In And Out Of Youth And Lightness. The way I heard it, Evan Patterson’s guitar took a slight backseat to his improved, confident voice. Front-to-back, the album wasn’t nearly as loud and raw. Today, we are gifted with their latest effort Easy Pain, an album that takes the best parts of their last two records to create their best music yet.
Early on it was easy to type-cast Young Widows as just another band trying to sound like the Jesus Lizard. But now more than ever with Easy Pain, the band stands alone with a unique blend of heavy post-hardcore and carefully crafted vocal melodies. Their inspirations aren’t nearly as obvious, which in my opinion is a good thing. The mood is the same as it ever was, but the exhibition isn’t entirely familiar. Yes, this is obviously still Young Widows, but a much more complete Young Widows.
While Easy Pain is an absolute wrecking ball of an album, there are a few sweet spots. Evan Patterson’s vocals are eerily beautiful and in command in songs like “Kerosene Girl” and “The Last Young Widow.” One track that I am particularly into right now include the second song “Cool Night.” It opens with Nick Thieneman exhibiting a Goblin-esque pulsating bass line taken straight from a George Romero flick, and who can’t appreciate that? The fourth song, entitled “Doomed Moon” is another ear-drum-melting crowd-pleaser.
After all the anticipation behind the fourth Young Widows record, I have to say Easy Pain is everything I was hoping it would be. It’s a raging beast of a record boasting eight brand new heavy-ass songs just for you. Highly Recommended.