"I left my heart back in the Broadfields" sings Gustav Wood on the final track of his band's second album, the Broadfields he is speaking of being the house he grew up in and began to understand what his life could be or mean. This is a sentiment that closes the album on a sombrely moving note and not only does it get right under the skin but it genuinely makes you feel something, whether that's relating to Gustav's words and experience within your own life or simply feeling the resonance that he and his band create as he confesses what he truly feels as he interacts with the world around him.
This is something that can be felt throughout the rest of the album with each of its twelve tracks feeling relevant and hard-hitting without ever outstaying their welcome. This is equally such a step-up of an album in terms of the band's sound that it can only be described as a completely revitalised and adrenaline-fired Young Guns in relation to the promising but ultimately decent band they were before, with its components feeling like highlights from debut All Our Kings Are Dead such as Elements or Stitches being re-looked at and amped up to volcanic levels.
Opener I Was Born, I Have Lived, I Will Surely Die is the band flying out of their new traps with razors for hands, it's a blast of purely joyous power that utterly bowls you over. Indeed there's a reason that towering lead single Learn My Lesson is to be found in the second half of the album, as the band have clearly spent time perfecting the songs they've brought together resulting in a record that has so much on offer that each track is a solid winner. Everything holds its firm singular identity but still feels seamless as the tracks flow into one another.
You Are Not is a huge rock ballad but it's done in such a brilliant way that cliches are nowhere to be found, Wood's belief that "you are not a diamond, you are not a shooting star, it doesn't mean that you're not perfect just the way you are" rallies against talent show-style vanity and misconception in a way that is simultaneously subtle and an unmoving middle-finger in its face. Beautifully confessional interlude Hymn For All I've Lost has such a genuine feel that you can imagine Wood warring with himself as to whether he should or should not put such private frustrations into universal words as he sings into the microphone while Everything Ends implores a few tracks later to "make sure that you live while you still can" before the final card-flip of Headlights and Broadfields end the album in such an affecting way that they make sure it stays with you long after the stereo's been turned off.
It's therefore a record that deeply explores the different shades of the frustration we all face but ultimately looks for ways to deal with it; enjoying what you have instead of just offering a twee solution, and in the cynical world we live in today this is something that should be noticed and listened to.