Yungblud 'Weird!': An anthem for current broken generation inspired by electro-punk of the '90s
Yungblud's music, alive with energy and righteousness, is over-the-top enjoyable mashup of the burning outrage of Arctic Monkeys and power-pop
English singer and songwriter Yungblud, whose real name is Dominic Harrison, made his presence felt a few years ago as a self-proclaimed punk star. His music, alive with energy and righteousness, is over-the-top and, loosely speaking, an enjoyable mashup of the bright burning outrage of the Arctic Monkeys and hip hop-tinted power-pop. This lively combination was apparent on his debut album, titled '21st Century Liability', which had its memorable moments. Since then, Yungblud's profile has raised dramatically as a cult Gen Z figure. The punk star, who recently scored a chart success after being featured on Machine Gun Kelly's 'I Think I'm Okay' alongside Travis Barker, comes across to fans as an impressive, sexually fluid 21st Century musician.
His latest album, 'Weird!', could be the one that elevates him onto the next level. Not only is 'Weird!' catchy, it also sits on the cusp, tonally speaking, between something Ed Sheeran would make, and risky yet interesting pop-punk music. The music on the album travels all over the place in true 2020 disarray style. There's the loud and enjoyable 'Super Dead Friends', which sounds a bit like Yungblud's mainlining the Beastie Boys while sounding heavily inspired by the stadium ballad electro-punk of the '90s. The album's vibe captures the feel of many current and past artists that Yungblud is inspired by. There is the clear influence of the shiny and multi-tracked songs of pop-metallers Bring Me The Horizon, with whom Yungblud has worked. It also, in parts, sounds like the legendary Oasis with its gigantic chord changes and terrace anthem choruses.
The lyrics on the album are best described by the opening verse of 'Ice Cream Man': "Sitting on my own again/Wondering what all my friends did last night/They think that I hate them/'Cause I haven’t sent them a text in two days". Songs such as 'The Freakshow', 'God Save Me', and the title track are brimming with messages of self-empowerment for the huddled young masses rendered with anxiety of the world ravaged by social media reality. The song 'Mars' is a more likeable and less blustering as it's written about a transgender fan of the singer. There are, apart from these themes, also songs about sappy love; something you would expect from a boy band like One Direction. Though it's categorized as punk, there's nothing here, really, that will make the government or an authority figure flinch even in the slightest. It won't remind you of the punk from the earlier days, like Sex Pistols and Ramones but, in its own special way, it's full of anthems for the current broken generation.
If you look at 'Weird!' in terms of pop music, it does its job. It builds onto Yungblud’s overall brand as him being a mouthpiece of the frustrated and berated youngsters. Yungblud dies come across as a musical act worth watching. Here, the downside is that the music takes a backseat to his pop-punk image leaving the album feeling less than impressive. Yungblud may make a great album one day, but 'Weird!' is not it.