Pistols at Dawn – “Nocturnal Youth” (EP)
Pistols at Dawn didn’t pick their handle because it sounded soft and cuddly – they clearly wanted a name to reflect the attitude of their music, and in the new record Nocturnal Youth, they get right down to the business of making that attitude work for them in the song “Voices.” While this track isn’t quite the sludge beast “Now is the Time” is, it doesn’t lack overdriven moxie by any measurement – none of the material here does. Nocturnal Youth is an EP stacked with brutality and melodicism in equal doses, giving us a perfect picture of who Pistols at Dawn are becoming today.
As much as I can appreciate all of the songs here, whether it be the deep cut “Gone Black” or the aforementioned efficiencies of “Voices,” lead single and music video “Crown” is the juggernaut pushing the pulse of Nocturnal Youth when all is said and done. The track’s ferocious licks and tension-inducing intro could become iconic if given the right spotlight this spring, but at the very least they set the bar awfully high for Pistols at Dawn’s rivals to keep up with. Theirs is truly a radio-ready metal model, and yet none of the indie intensities we expect from the underground are sacrificed in the name of a sparkling finish.
There have been a lot of interesting faces coming into the fold of heavy music over the past year, but for a consistent sound that doesn’t veer too far off the beaten path, Pistols at Dawn’s Nocturnal Youth and “Crown” were made to please. This is a group that could build a lot of momentum off of a good stage show, and if even a fraction of the dynamics we hear in this release carry over to their live performances, they’ll have a tough time keeping mainstream attention away.