The EP opens up with “Stay Alive” and immediately you can hear a marked improvement in the production quality here…everything sounds cleaner compared to the album prior. The vocals are clear and more polished and the instrumentation sounds crisp so we’re already off to a promising start. The song itself is superb; a simple yet steady beat and progression of riffs, embracing the slow build leading into an infectious, hook-laden chorus of powerful vocals. It’s impassioned and poles apart from anything offered previously, coupled with the frenzied solo, it makes for a brilliant opening track. “Line Em Up” follows on and it’s got a tough task ahead of it, but it takes on a slightly more southern-metal tone instrumentally, with its distinct guitar driven groove and subtle vocal drawl…fans of BLACK STONE CHERRY and THEORY OF A DEADMAN will likely get a kick out of this; no nonsense, fun rock ‘n’ roll.
As most bands of this genre do, they aren’t opposed to dropping a ballad or two either, allowing for a change of pace and to showcase their varied vocal and musical ability, and here that comes by means of “Whispers In The Dark”. A slower, tender piece of soft rock that’s big on melody and emotive vocals…with its key changes and sensually flowing solo it’s teeters on soaring power pop without quite having you reach for the lighters, before closing track “Sorry” rounds things off with another dose of chugging hard rock. A decent track but spoiled by the inclusion of random spoken-word segments. They sound jarring and hinder the flow of the track, coming across as forced and would have been better suited to an intro monologue or interlude to set up the track.
Overall in the three years that have passed between releases, YOTL have come a hell of a long way…their song writing and playing have come on in leaps and bounds and the sound quality improvement in terms of recording and production is doing them all of the favours. Gone is the grainy instrumentation and raw vocal performance, despite being only four tracks long, this makes the album feel more like a demo! Whatever the band have done differently is paying off, and if this is their direction then it’s an exciting and promising one, as their next record could feature some absolute tunes. It's the year of the locust they claim, and it’ll take more than pesticide to stop this lot!