Lust for Youth at Rough Trade East
Swedish duo Lust for Youth mix frozen, melancholic landscapes (recalling Joy Division and New Order) with some warm chill tunes (think Air France or Tough Alliance). The result is a pleasant soundwhere pseudo-disco beats are shaken with cold lyrics, creating a clever chiaroscuro of light and shadows, downtempo and uptempo, warm and cold.
Onstage, the band consists of three musicians: a guitarist, a soundscaper (with electric drums, analogical synth and few effects) and singer Hannes Norrvide, the blessing and the pain of the band. Thanks to his 80s voice and his 90s attitude on stage, the singer is engaging to watch, but his uneducated voice is an issue for the band. It is clear that Norrvide aims to emulate the rough-edged vocal of Ian Curtis and the best new wave singers, but that’s not easy unless you are Ian Curtis.
Although rather unsophisticated, generally speaking, the beats and the music of the band are good – well-built and with remarkable ideas that work pretty well thanks to their playful mix of upbeats and downbeats.
International is their third record in less than two years, but amid their prolificacy, the quality of the music needs more commitment. The record offers both great songs (single Illume or the great New Boys) and unlucky moments like Armida or Aftertouch, and during the live performance all the deficiencies come out quite clearly. Lust for Youth have potential, but they need more focus and find a better way to direct their energies.
For further information and future events visit Lust for Youth’s website here.
Watch the video for Illume here: