Youth Group Skeleton Jar

Another month means another up and coming band from Australia. This time, its Sydney’s Youth Group — a quartet who have undergone a couple of changes since their debut appeared a couple of years ago. Back then they were being grouped together with the Vines, but based on Skeleton Jar, it is quite clear which band is going to have the staying power. Sounding like a cross between James and Death Cab For Cutie, Youth Group’s sophomore effort is where everything really comes together for the band. There’s a wonderful contrast between the upbeat tunes and the melancholy lyrics that makes the songs immediately accessible. For a young band, Youth Group have managed to demonstrate depth beyond their years. They manage to avoid the usual emo-esque lyrical clichés, yet still have something relatively worthwhile to say. It isn’t all about moping and staring inward — it almost feels uplifting at times. Skeleton Jar is a very welcome surprise and one of this year’s most likeable albums. Naturally, the selection of one of their songs to accompany a pivotal moment in The O.C. won’t hurt their chances of success either. (Anti)