Imagine the musical equivalent of being covered in brightly colored silly string. If that proposition sounds appealing to you, wrap your earholes around BYQ’s debut jamfest.
I first heard Bearded Youth Quest on the Math Rock News’ fantastic Spring 2013 compilation, and from the first four seconds of band members screaming “BANANA FLIP FLOP, BANANA FLIP-FLOP” I knew I had struck gold. Unfortunately the band seemed to be a glorious but short-lived flash in the pan, with only a short EP to their name. But no fear, BYQ are back swinging. Though not actually swinging. Or swinging in the musical sense. In a metaphorical sense. It’s good, okay?
Distorted but jubilant riffs in all manner of weird time signatures instantly calls ASIWYFA, Adebisi Shank and Cleft to mind as a comparison, but the Brighton quintet forge their own path. Tracks like ‘Cardboard Armour’ demonstrate their impressively tight ensemble playing and a great knack for arrangement as it beelines from one kooky riff to another with abandon. The dreamy riffscape of ‘Stone Hench’ has a distinctly nautical swing and is battling it out with the re-recorded aformentioned ‘Banana Flip-Flop’ for top track in my preference list.
While their debut EP will always have a special place in my heart, this LP amps everything BYQ were doing in those early days up to 11. Here’s to hoping the next one isn’t three years in the making, but if it is then it’s a price I’ll pay.
If you like your music bright, riffalicious and irreverent and your bananas flip-flopped then you’ve definitely stumbled across the right band.
You can pre-order this album-shaped cube of musical brilliance over at Bandcamp or on vinyl at Lonely Voyage Records. Then chug some water and just look out of your window for a little while and think about how great a decision you just made.