Donnerstag, 4. August 2022

Young Marble Giants - Collosal Youth (1980)

As punk rock was quickly morphing into post-punk at the end of the '70s, Welsh trio Young Marble Giants went against the amplified aggression and stylistic chaos of many of their peers, instead creating new worlds of expression through subtraction. The band's vacuous sound was almost jarringly minimal, with incredibly catchy songs consisting of Alison Statton's stoic vocals, fluid electric bass, unwavering skeletal drum machine rhythms, and the occasional stab of guitar or haunted organ sounds. 

The group were short-lived, leaving behind only a few EPs, demos, and "Colossal Youth", their sole full-length album from 1980, but their influence would ripple out to inform the sounds of future independent music creators from Nirvana to Belle and Sebastian. "Colossal Youth" perfectly captures the band's unique approach, with 15 short songs of their stark but rough-edged pop. 

Before forming Young Marble Giants, Statton and brothers Philip and Stuart Moxham had all played together in a band called True Wheel, who took their name from the title of a song on Brian Eno's 1974 outing Taking "Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)". While Eno's flirtations with funk and Kraftwerk's bare-bones electronic rhythms were reference points for Young Marble Giants' sound, it's hard to locate many other implicit influences on Colossal Youth. The sinister crawl of "N.I.T.A." and lonely riffing of "Music for Evenings" could serve as foundations for the songs of other post-punk bands, but few dared to present something so intentionally empty. The album's most conventionally structured songs -- tunes like atmospheric opener "Searching for Mr. Right" or the would-be rock & roll of "Credit in the Straight World" -- are defined by the sharp tension created by their unfinished-feeling arrangements. That moody tension co-exists with relatively cheery songwriting throughout Colossal Youth, maintaining a strange balance between the two contrasting energies for the entire album. 

Young Marble Giants weren't the only band to explore pop minimalism, but no one else during their time or afterwards quite captured the eerie beauty that floats through every moment of Colossal Youth. Its songs sound like a private party in an empty house, with every facet of the sound aiming to take up as little space as possible. Listening to "Colossal Youth", it's easy to see how this introverted album full of tiny sounds made such an enormous impact.


"Searching for Mr. Right" – 3:03
"Include Me Out" – 2:01
"The Taxi" – 2:07
"Eating Noddemix" (Philip Moxham, Alison Statton) – 2:04
"Constantly Changing" – 2:04
"N.I.T.A." – 3:31
"Colossal Youth" – 1:54
"Music for Evenings" – 3:02
"The Man Amplifier" – 3:15
"Choci Loni" (S. Moxham, P. Moxham) – 2:37
"Wurlitzer Jukebox!" – 2:45
"Salad Days" (S. Moxham, Statton) – 2:01
"Credit in the Straight World" – 2:29
"Brand - New - Life" – 2:55
"Wind in the Rigging" – 2:25

Young Marble Giants - Collosal Youth (1980)
(ca. 192 kbps, cover art included)

3 Kommentare:

swappers hat gesagt…

Superb! Thanks Zero G. Bought this when it came out and my taste swerved that way ever since!

Sintra blogue hat gesagt…

hi! I put your blog in my blog list (

zero hat gesagt…

Thanks a lot for your comments!

I will add the Sintra blog to my list - best wishes!

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