Spring Offensive have been on the radar for a very long time, upon releasing a mini album, they were met with praise and gained a buzz that hasn’t died down. They now are back, and this time releasing their full debut entitled Young Animal Hearts. An album that was largely funded by PledgeMusi”; where up and coming bands can receive money from fans to fund their projects. The bands attempt to fund the album through the site was a huge success, they reached their goal, and then some. According to the website they reached 166% of their target. Spring Offensive are a band with mounds of potential, and have produced some brilliant singles in the past, but would they be able to make the jump and produce a brilliant album?
The album begins with Not Drowning But Waving, a song which I believe is probably the best single they’ve produced to date. Despite its brilliance it highlights a huge issue in this album; content. This album is largely filled with songs that have either already been released, or are simply recreations of past songs which gives the album a certain feeling of redundance. The River, for instance, was previously released under the name I Found Myself Smiling and remains one of their strongest songs. Unfortunately, there are only five completely new songs on the album. Due to the fact that we here at Indie is Not a Genre have covered most of these songs in the past, most of my focus will be on the new tracks on the album (we’ve linked our original comments below).
The first unreleased song on the album is Bodylifting, a song very typical from the Oxford five-piece. Starting with a pulsating rhythm, and deep vocals, this is everything we have come to expect from the band. The next track is Hengelo, which starts in a very similar way. However Hengelo has a slightly different theme; it is based on a true story. A very moving song about a Dutchman who ran away from his pregnant girlfriend and mounting debt, only to reinvent himself in a new country, with a new identity, and life. Hengelo is very similar to Not Drowning But Waving in the way it proceeds, an unbelievable song, but also a very emotional one.
Cut The Root is very similar to the first three songs, and it makes you wonder why the band don’t stick to this dark style throughout the album. Depression seems to fit them very well, and I mean this in the best way possible. The sheer mood and power these songs possess is astounding, Cut The Root also seems to be a song about aging, and not wanting to emulate what everyone else has already done. “There’s so little time left, I’m not going to waste it following blueprints“, the band bellows during the main chorus. You could spend hours picking each and every one of these songs apart discussing the symbolism they contain.
Fast-forwarding past the songs the band have released in the past, we come across Something Unkind. Another song filled with emotion (they all seem to be), but has a slightly more up-bringing tone. The intro to the song is similar to the others, but the track quickly becomes more uptempo than its counterparts. The album then concludes with the unimpressive title track. The song gives the album a poor name, and in my opinion it sticks out in the worst way possible. Although it still feels like a Spring Offensive song, it seems to be lost in a pool filled with greats.
A phenomenal album, that deserves all the praise in the world, but is unfortunately held from glory by rehashes and rereleases.
Young Animal Hearts Track listing:
Not Drowning But Waving (re-release)
Cut The Root
The River (re-release)
No Assets (re-release)
52 Miles (re-release)
Young Animal Hearts