Younger Then – Bad Life (2018)

younger then band press image
Image courtesy of Younger Then

Making their way into the scene, Younger Then is an indie rock band from Buffalo, New York.  The members consist of Zack Dupuis (vocals), Michael Wirth (guitar), Austin Dorr (guitar/bass) and Jeremy Shields (drums).  Since their start in the summer of 2015, the band has become a hit in the Western New York area with their powerhouse sound and energetic shows.  Released on October 12th, Bad Life is the title of the band’s debut album.

The band’s tagline, ‘not your father’s rock n’ roll’, is true to their musical style.  The album’s sound does remind me a little of rock from the 80s and 90s.  With the combination of indie, there is an added twist allowing the album to stand out from other indie rock artists.

When I listened to the album the first couple of times, I started thinking of bands I listened to during my late teenage years.  Some of the sounds gave off a sense of familiarity, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly who this band reminded me of.  After listening to the record a few more times, a few artists popped into my head.  The first two artists I thought of were Phantom Planet and John Cougar Mellencamp.  While there are some significant differences between these bands and Younger Then, they do all share similarities in terms of rock and roll sounds.

Personally, I think Bad Life is more similar to the works of John Cougar Mellencamp.  Songs such as ‘All in All’, ‘Cherry Glaze’, ‘Hurt So Good’ and even bits of ‘Jack and Diane’ present a more traditional rock and roll resonance in the beat and the use of guitars.

In addition to Mellencamp, there are hints of other rock bands.  There are also similarities between the intro to ‘Sweetness’ and the opening bars of ‘One Way Or Another’ by Blondie.  The voice of lead singer, Zack Dupuis, makes me think of singer of Phantom Planet, Alex Greenwald.  There is something about the smooth and soothing tone both singers have that strikes a sense of familiarity.  For a minute, I truly believed Greenwald was singing instead of Dupuis.

Overall, I liked this album.  It reminds me more of old school classic rock like Bruce Springsteen, Rick Springfield and Bob Seger instead of current rock bands.  I enjoyed having a bit of a throwback.  I liked this album and would recommend it to those who have an appreciation of and admire the classics.  I love that they’re able to blend two different styles of rock together and come up with a tone that’s unique.  It’s a hard thing to do, and Younger Then pulls it off very well.

With Bad Life being their debut album, Younger Then also has a self-titled EP released featuring singles ‘Uproot’ and ‘Ghost’.  Both the EP and album are now available for streaming on Spotify and iTunes.

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