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Sunday, 12 June 2022

Cardboard Boxer - Current Youth


It is good to be back after a short break recovering from the May overload of reviews. I hope you've managed to get through them all because there will be a written test. I'm certain that you'll find June as eclectic as May. 

We begin with one of my favourite soapbox issues. Without going over too much old ground, the word Punk sends too many people to the hills. The comparisons between UK and US punk are certainly different, but the US version is way too loose. Pop Punk suffers the most, but when you go deeper into the whole genre label, the tag seems like a red herring when listening to the band.

The superb San Diego quartet, Cardboard Box are noted wherever you look as Punk, but Current Youth is actually wonderful Guitar led Indie Rock. An angrier better version of the early years of The Killers, overtones of a noisier take on The Strokes with far more lyrics, possibly.

What isn't in doubt is that this is a wonderful fist shaking album that rarely comes up for air. Hints of College Rock from the 90s, Stadium Rock of the 00's and edging at times towards Classic Rock and Grunge whilst never ever losing sight of the melody.

The choruses are big, the riffs are hypnotic and some of the breakout guitar solos match anyone around, young or old. At times the band are anthemic with riffs that can't decide if they are New Wave Pop Rock or 80s big Rock. Examples such as Pseudo Confidence and the splendid Cutting Ties And Burning Bridges underline this. 

All Outta Time edges toward down and dirty Garage Rock, yet Growing Older is a heavier version of great Pop Rock with a riff that could be prime time Skids. Opener, Going Nowhere may be even better, it is gripping with slight 80's no synth Rock.

Reasons brings back memories of The Cult when they were at their hottest. With me being a teenager in the 70s, I may be looking at this from a slightly different angle than younger reviewers. But I have heard a lot, probably too much, music, but I don't hear a better Indie Rock around at the moment. Label it with whatever floats your boat, but Current Youth makes a compelling argument for the Guitar.

You can listen to and buy the album here.


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