Never judge a band by its name, sure…but also, man, watch out when you have a horrible band name. Here are the three levels of bad names:
1. Just Super Shitty: Like, why would I ever want to write about a group with a super stupid name? Oh cool, your called Cerebral Ballzy, I bet you make great music (nope).
2. Problematic!: Viet Cong has been the hot-button group as of late, but there are no shortage of groups boasting names that make you raise an eyebrow when they say what their band name is but you also see what everyone in the group looks like. Trick here is outrage over the name results in a cycle where the band actually gets tons of attention…like, Viet Cong has been and will be written about more than they ever would have before, so good job everyone.
3. Lazy: Remember Chillwave? Remember when a bunch of bands popped up after the first exciting rush and had names with “chill” and “sun” and whatever vaguely summery adjectives in their name? You can play this game for every genre ever.
Youthmemory fall under category three — they are an indie-pop quartet out of Tokyo, and their new EP Dreamin’ is full of wistful songs with titles such as “Darlin” and “Sunday Afternoon.” It’s like they Google “twee” and wrote as many words in the definition as possible.
BUT hey…the EP is actually really good! There’s no shortage of indie-pop in Japan, but Youthmemory actually mix some muscle into their melancholy. “Darlin” features downtrodden singing, but a catchy guitar melody and a solid beat, giving it a surprising amount of force. Even “Sunday Afternoon,” which teases being a “There She Goes” retread, introduces some feedback bursts at various points. And the catchiness of songs such as the title track more than justify the name…it is a confident song featuring the group’s strongest singing. Don’t let the name fool ya, and listen above.