Their rise continued while touring with established acts such as INME, ALIEN ANT FARM and FOZZY, resulting eventually in them finding themselves being the first ever signees to the newly created Marshall Records, with their new material set to be recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. However, after the initial release of the single “Hurricane”, things seemed to come off the boil…the gold dust had settled and everything seemed quiet. Fast forward to 2019 and the band are no longer on the Marshal Records roster (With “No Results Found” on the website) and they’ve released their anticipated third album with the help of Kickstarter…so what happened? Let’s search “Utopia” for some answers…
We open up with the title track and we’re initially met with the apparent childlike innocence of a glockenspiel, before we make way for the more familiar, up-tempo rocking instrumentation we’ve come to expect. The ideology of the intro here, seeming to metaphorically at least take us back to simpler times, with the song itself then acting as a rallying cry of sorts. Lyrically we deal with concepts of revolutions, scrapping societal norms and starting afresh for a better world…there’s a sense of frustration fuelling this track and it’s a decent opener.
If you’re familiar with The Dirty Youth you’ll likely expect a fair few decent tracks spanning this new record, given their previous, and really here you won’t be too disappointed. “Horizon” continues the bands experimentation with a more futuristic, electronic sound, combining simplistic hooks and riffs, a quaint piano melody and layered synths, for a catchy piece of alt. pop. If you prefer TDY of old though, then you’ll more than likely get a kick out of “One Dance”…with it’s harder percussion and a more guitar driven approach it’s one of the rockiest, traditional sounding tracks on the album and Danni flexes her vocals that bit more, allowing for a really bold, really enjoyable track. By contrast, “Lights” utilises a far slower build, opting for a more soulful, power-pop / ballad aesthetic…this chorus is absolutely bouncing however and it’s this dichotomy that makes the track appealing; full of emotive and instrumental fluctuation.
Their previous single makes a reappearance here as “Hurricane Pt.2” and here we find the track has been given a bit of a makeover; a slight revamp, as it’s considerably more up-beat and up-tempo, sounding more like a polished track as opposed to more of a demo, which this makes the initial single sound like now. “The Ballad Of San Frandisco” also reappears having undergone the same treatment. No longer a B-side; its synth-driven retro qualities make for a clear album highlight, and it still gets brownie points for the name. San Frandisco…made me do a chuckle that.
The rest of the album to be fair maintains a fairly solid, consistent level of quality…there are no real negatives here to be perfectly honest. The band know how to reel you in with a good hook, they’ve always written great melodies, and when called upon, they CAN rock out with the best of them…I guess the only real issue of this record, is that there isn’t enough of that. The ten tracks here are fine, there’s nothing wrong with the run-time, but there are times you can’t help but feel this is a band that are, for some reason, holding back. Danni Monroe has a truly remarkable voice and can properly belt them out, but there’s a level of restraint here for some reason and it stops this album going from good to great. It’s not lacking quality, but at times it is lacking a bit more oomph…The Dirty Youth here sound a bit too…clean?