Sound — 8
Since the first time I heard "I Hate Hartley" I thought this album would be like a "severed ties 2.0"...somehow youngbloods is just an improvement in quality but thats all. The production sound of this album improved drastically, Machine did a great job and improvements compared to their previous work can be hear everywhere, glossy vocal effects, crisp guitars, beautiful use of electronics, impressive screams, the tasteful melodics of Brady and the sound of the drums did change much except for the quality but still I love the way Burt play the drums. Too bad Stringer doesn't aport anything more than support for the rhythms in his bassist duties. Brady did an amazing job as a songwriter, the guitar shines everywhere on this album but sometimes the album sound linear as the band doesn't move too far from their comfort zone. Compared to severed ties youngbloods use the post-hardcore formula preparing space for Brady to shine in almost every song, making this album a little predictable. Even so the lack of originality compared to severd ties this record is something you must hear if you like melodic hardcore, post-hardcore or just heavy screams as it has a more mature sound than anything you heard.
Lyrics — 7
Since the production got better than previous works, the sings and screams are better and more melodic. Birch screams sound less forced and the addition of electronic effects fit pretty well. Stringer voice shines brighter on this record as his voice became to make potent inclusions than melodic submissions, he also got the "electronic voice work" at the right moments of the songs. In my personal opinion, the lyrics are great on this album as most of the lyrics fit pretty well with the cover of the album and the felling of that the music causes. Even some lines feel too generic, most of the songs calls for people to live for the moment and enjoy life because we're all too young die. Lyrically my favorite songs are the metaphoric "Anchors", "f--k the yankees" since its a song about Birch mother and the optimistic "I hate Hartley".
Overall Impression — 8
Severed Ties was more risky and I think part of the amity essence was lost in youngbloods. Even this record fall into a generic post-hardcore formula, is a perfectly done one. Said so this album is a must hear one of every hardcore and relative genres fan. But sincerely if you are going to introduce someone to the amity sound I recommend songs from the previous record. The most notable song from youngbloods could be "I Hate Hartley", "Anchors", "Youngbloods"(my favorite one), "Dr. Thunder" and "No Sleep 'Till Brisbane".