A friend once described Huddersfield to me, “everything is beige. The people, the weather, even the bloody bricks”. That was his opinion, but for hometown heroes Your New Antique, Huddersfield is a dark place.
The West Yorkshire quartet have changed line ups over the last half decade, but the band’s direction and raw energy remain a constant. With influence from Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen, as well as The Pixies, Dead Kennedys and Pearl Jam to name but a few clear connections, ‘YNA’ have crafted their own brand of Gothic inspired, indie pop, whilst at the same time circling post punk’s social angst.
What Your New Antique have produced in their debut is a succinctly forthright album, with at times desperately dark yet endearing lyrics. It is a bold and confident debut, filled with killer hooks, powerful melodies, distinct vocals and a clear love of live performance that shines through even on the album.
Themes of love loss, class isolation and frustration are prominent throughout the album, producing a sound that is bitterly sharp, gratifying and fulfilling. The band never pushes the subject matter so far as to isolate the audience, remembering that the listener needs to first and foremost relate to the subject matter.
The guitar hooks and deep, baritone vocals from lead singer, Jay Williams, produce a dynamic contrast with the crisper, higher pitched dual harmonies of lead guitarist, Rob Crisp. Producing tracks that shiver with layered detail, and stride across the speakers in both in scope and scale.
Standout track ‘Forgotten’ is all about pace and drive, a tightly focused and melancholic tale of remorse and angst, supported by fizzing snare drums, pounding rhythms from both bass drum and guitar, building towards a beautifully dynamic lead guitar riff that recalls Idlewild during their ‘The Remote Part’ period.
Similarly, The National provide yet another point of reference, the musical direction on ‘Same Old’ bears the DNA of the High Violet album, peaking with an angular, Bloc Party-esque, chord progression. Dual vocals once again add depth and restrained, emotional intensity that stings and grips with a passionate strain of clenched teeth.
Frankly, Your New Antique’s debut sounds less like a debut and is more akin to a sophomore effort, lavish and confident in songwriting abilities. It suggests a band that have a clear, developed sound and style, rather than one still in the midst of evolution. Old souls in young(ish) bodies is the best analogy.
For Your New Antique, Huddersfield is a dark place, thankfully though, they have appointed themselves as the soldiers not of fortune, but for the unfortunate. Their music lighting the road ahead, ensuring the desolate, heartbroken and sorrowful have their supporters. Your New Antique are willing to endure the melancholy and Weltschmerz of others through their songwriting, so others don’t have to.
Dark, selfless and captivating.
Just like their debut.
Words: Fuzz Caminski