By: Jessica Nakamoto –
As evidenced by his latest musical compilation, it’s clear that with Dominic Harrison at the artistic helm, an introductory hello can just as synonymously be linked to a parting farewell. In fact, this is so much the case that the very first track on Yungblud’s debut album, 21st Century Liability (out July 6), encompasses what appears to be the mother of all goodbyes. With the opening song, “Eulogy”, Harrison issues a semi-mocking rant, speaking as a narrator presiding over his own demise. Clearly aware of his unorthodox style and outspoken nature, Yungblud provides a glance into his own self-perception as someone who’s not afraid to voice their opinion, no matter the political unease this may stir up in the process.
Listening to “Eulogy”, it doesn’t take long to discover that backlash and status quo conformity aren’t things Yungblud dwells upon with any great concern. This carefree philosophy continues throughout the album and is particularly evident by the touchy and sometimes uncomfortable topics Harrison highlights throughout his music. However, despite the heavy inspiration behind the lyrics, Yungblud’s work is by no standards a soft, gloomy production. Rather, the alternative rock meets hip-hop blend incorporated throughout 21st Century Liability creates a high-energy and up-tempo beat that only adds further fuel to Harrison’s feisty and spit-fire choruses. In other words, Yungblud’s music not only marks the death of typical music genre labels but serves as a refreshing wave goodbye to the mundane and hello to a healthy dose of reality.
Two tracks that seem to best encompass this rebellious zeal include “Machine Gun (F**ck the NRA)” and “I Love You Will You Marry Me”. While diverse in topics, both songs unite in a joint sense of sharp cynical criticism. Lines from “Machine Gun” such as “I drank bleach because they forced me to”, “my new machine gun that I bought for fun” and “when I see my machine gun. You better fucking run” illustrate a far too common story of a modern crisis the world currently faces but is often viewed a taboo topic for general conversation. Likewise, “I Love You Will You Marry Me” tells of another issue not frequently brought out into the light. With lines like, “they kicked him to the side and left him to starve on the memory that’s re-breaking his broken heart” tells the powerful and heartbreaking true tale of corporate greed filtering out human emotion and leaving two lovers and their families out in the cold for the sake of profit.
While some lyrical segments of these tracks do come across as overly repetitive at times, listeners can’t help but feel for the emotion and call to action present in each song. There is a sense of desperation in painstakingly attempting over and over just to be heard. In this sense repetition can be viewed as a clawing plea to face reality head on and the disheartening result of endlessly trying to prove a point to which the public has closed their ears to and turned the other cheek to seemingly greener grasses.
With this approach, it appears that 21st Century Liability serves as Harrison’s ode to all things youthfully rebellious, and oftentimes painfully truthful. As Yungblud and his growing popularity make it clear, while the public eye may try to stifle the unsavory, there is a rising movement of individuals ready to say goodbye to the conventional and welcome in a new movement of truth and discovery.
Recommended Tracks: “I Love You Will You Marry Me”, “Machine Gun (F**k the NRA)”, and “Psychotic Kids”