Brutal Youth
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Brutal Youth

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Alternative Punk




"Stay Honest"

Brutal Youth created chills in 2010 with Spill Your Guts, and this same compliment can be paid to Stay Honest. It illustrates how much they've stayed true to their sound, packing enough punch in under ten minutes and unleashing fast-paced punk in a most welcomed manner.

Brutal? Yes. Relentless? Yes. Ruthless? Yes. The blistering drumming and hardcore tone sinewed into the band's vibrant punk essence takes over any semblance of distortion and incoherence to strum out a musically fun record that opens nicely with "Shortcut to Nowhere Pt.2." This is the perfect build into "Orca6050_Millenium Falcon" that pans out with rage and raw energy. If you wanted proof that they've maintained their grit, look no further.

The short bursts of rage are fast and furious here and it's apparent how well their Kid Dynamite influence trickles into their music. They do the comparison justice as they wind in and streamline a scratchy hardcore sound into their range that's built on quick riffs and non-complexity. "John Hughes Proverbs" is laced with lyrics like 'Why did we let ourselves slip away' that segue into prominent 'Whoa-oh' backups, which stand as a stark reminder of how tight their split with Tightrope came off last year.

Brutal Youth never manage to exacerbate the situation with an influx of 'Whoa-ohs', and it paves the way for "53" to leave the record on a great cliffhanger - promising so much and leaving you wanting more. The bass in this track alone makes the album worth buying. Chalk up another in the win column; Spill Your Guts is too short and too sweet. - Punknews

"Brutal Youth Tightrope Split 10""

Two Canadian bands come together for a split release that provides two slightly different takes on melodic hardcore. Toronto, Ontario's Brutal Youth takes a much more Kid Dynamite-influenced route across its seven tracks whilst Tightrope, hailing from Montreal, Quebec, has a somewhat more melodic, less frenetic but nevertheless significantly upbeat approach in its delivery.

Tightrope steps up to the plate first and the five songs featured all generally keep the same consistent quality throughout its side of the vinyl. Opening track "Notes About Nothing" barely makes it over half-a-minute, but is followed by the lengthy "Quandary (Part I)," which seems to cram a lot of song into 78 seconds. "Denouement (Part II)" has a clear melodic edge to it, although with quite an upbeat pace and some excellent vocals. Whilst again it seems that even though none of Tightrope's songs are that long, there is a lot going on and none of them seem repetitive or lacking for ideas, despite being played out in a fairly familiar (and good) way. This is music that makes me want to have the knees I had 30 years ago, that could have me thrashing away down in front of the band as they played song after song--the most I can do now is to imagine how good that would be!

Brutal Youth, as noted above, does take a lot of its cues from Kid Dynamite and the approach is more frantic than that of Tightrope. At times there are hints at a number of other bands that might have influenced the band's sound, including on the track "Postman," which has 7 Seconds written all over it, with the snottiness of Kid Dynamite for good measure. The songs fly by in almost an instant but they do the business in providing an invigorating listen.

Tightrope's tracks show a step up from those featured on its self-titled 2011 seven-inch and highlights an extremely promising band that has quickly become a favorite of mine. Brutal Youth also shows improvement over the Spill Your Guts album that came out two years ago, which shows that the group is not content with standing still.

For me, the Tightrope side is the strongest here, although the Brutal Youth side too has its strengths and make this a decent release indeed. Both bands complement each other well enough without being taking the exact same route and as such they make this a very strong release. - Punk News

"Stay Honest review"

Brutal Youth and their Kid Dynamite loving ways are back with their sophomore full-length Stay Honest– quite possibly their best and catchiest work to date. This time around we find them departing slightly from their mimicry of the Melodic Hardcore Gods of Old and working (slowly) to establish their own derivation of one of punk’s most popular sound. What once was hardcore with tuneful woah-ohs and shouted melodies has a bit more pop punk in its blood this time around, and honestly the band is better for it. Brutal Youth is to melodic hardcore as Direct Hit! is to pop punk– a relentless party punk band with an aggressive spirit and deceptively intelligent lyricism.

“53 Degrees” opens the album with a false start accordion riff, before blasting into some fun, throaty melodic hardcore. The woahs are as catchy as ever, providing back-up to Patty’s machine gun delivery in the first verse and later serving up doo-wop esque ‘ba ba ba’s.’ “Best Policy” is more blatantly hardcore, featuring venomous vocals and a focus on intensity rather than melody– a sweet taste of Brutal Youth’s darker side. Another song in this vein is the thirty-eight second “Albatross,” which manages to include so much it feels like a song of a much longer length– it also strikes the perfect balance between rage and melody, working in some great gang vocals along the way.

Of all the bands I was expecting to compare Brutal Youth to, Green Day was not one of them. But, it stands to mention that there’s a distinct Dookie era sound to a couple of the tracks on Stay Honest, most notably “John Hughes Proverb.” This is far from a bad thing, because unlike Green Day, Brutal Youth never comes off as adolescent. The saccharine melodies they inject into their work are fun, subversive, and a complement to their breakneck speed.

Brutal Youth still maintain their melodic hardcore roots though, so fans of their earlier work won’t be disappointed– but some listeners may find it a little exhausting. A case could be made for this particular style being fairly homogenous, especially when the ratio is mixed in hardcore’s favor. Stay Honest isn’t immune from this and does occasionally get lost in a slew of similar sounding songs– but this is more of an issue with the tracking than the music. With eighteen tracks and only twenty-two minutes of runtime, it’s ultimately the sheer volume of music packed into Stay Honest that makes it lose points. Songs like “One Lb” help break up the sameness– in this case by trying something different, like a slower tempo– but there’s not enough of them scattered throughout the tracklist to effectively make Stay Honest more palatable.

Lyrically, Stay Honest is as exceptional as their previous work– a quality of theirs that is not nearly appreciated enough. It’s too easy to write them off as a ‘fun’ band, undeserving of deep analysis; but a cursory look at their lyrics reveal Brutal Youth to be assured and vibrant with a knack for poetic introspection. My favorite song on the Stay Honest is the anti-straight edge themed “Piss and Wine.” Brutal Youth discusses the movement from a very personal, relatable angle. More impressive still, is that they do it in so few words, few enough that I can post them in their entirety:

“The condescending questions never seem to fucking end.

Stuck pandering to the insecure and it’s wearing fucking thin.

“Don’t drink? Don’t smoke? Don’t Fuck?”

Won’t spend my life on the defense.

I’m proud of all my choices and I’m proud of all my friends.

When they’re sober, when they’re drunk

I’m by their side no matter what.

There’s no fucking moral high ground here

And nobody’s life is any better spent.”

Cutting, concise, and ultimately very human– “Piss and Wine” is punk rock lyricism at its finest.

Stay Honest isn’t perfect, but its flaws are weak enough that most listeners will disregard them entirely. Brutal Youth are as good as ever and while I found myself wishing their album was as tight as their individual songs, I still couldn’t help but brim with enthusiasm at its existence. Stay Honest is a great record that’s as hard and fast as it is catchy; a prime example of Brutal Youth’s talent.

4/5 Stars - Dying Scene

"Stay Honest"

Before we dive into the actual review, I’m going to let you guys in on a little something about myself and what lot of people know about me. I have a thing for Canadian bands. It’s literally and inside joke that if they’re Canadian, I’ll give them a break and immediately get to the liking. Okay, let’s pull back on that just a tad. We are talking about a certain type of Canadian band. This doesn’t mean that I still rock out in my room to Alanis Morissette or get all nostalgic with Bryan Adams. I’d say the real beginnings of this was my complete devotion to Nomeansno and early D.O.A.. I don’t know if it’s the water, something taught in Canadian schools or I was switched out at birth, but I’m drawn to bands coming from the region and tend to give them a break. I’m saying all this because some of my friends are already probably snickering that I’m reviewing another Canadian band and yes, it’s going to be a positive review. So there you go, I love Brutal Youth album, Stay Honest. There, I said it, laugh all you want.
Now let’s get into the why.
There are so many things that draw me to this album and one of the first things is just it’s overall approach. The lyric writing is superb in the fact that yes, they lay out some issues, but in almost every case there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. For instance, the opening song “53°” lays out a hatred for the town you came from and despair you might feel, but then the closing line is “Don’t forget to stay true to yourself.” The album is just riddled with verbiage like this including song two “Boul. Saint-Laurent” with the admission of making a serious mistake and asking the question after admission, “Where do we go from here”? I’ve never been one to enjoy someone complaining or laying out issues without some sort of solution. That is the beauty of Brutal Youth, they’re pointing out many travesties with their melodic-hardcore approach, but also offering answers and a positive side.
One song that especially sticks out to me, is the issue of being sober as a choice in “XPiss&WineX,” and your choice being misunderstood. The idea of being sober in the punk scene conjures up straight-edge ideals which can tend to be a judgmental view. This offers a different view of being sober because it was a choice in the lines “I’m proud of all my choices and I’m proud of all my friends. When they’re sober, when they’re drunk. I’m by their side no matter what. There’s no fucking moral high ground here and nobody’s life is any better spent.” A proud statement of one standing up and being themselves without judging others for their choices. I can get behind this admirable individualism which puts a smile on my face every time I hear it.
The overall production of the album is nothing short of brilliant. Bass sounds and playing are enough to make you envious, with a super tight drum sound and guitar filling in the holes. Something about bass carrying the melody has always been a big plus for me. This isn’t saying that the guitar playing is minimal by any means, the bass just really pulls everything together, which is also a great lesson from some early bands like the Rezillos or the Buzzcocks. Upon first listen the backup oo0hs and ahhhs caught me by complete surprise because they almost didn’t seem to fit. The vocals are raw and edgy just like I love, then the backups are so damn sweet that they almost seem to contradict the mains. Now, remember how I stated there is almost a positive side to every song? That’s what the backups seem to be also. So damn perfectly beautiful that it evens everything out. Was this intentional or just happenstance, I really don’t know, but I like to think it was intentional and these guys knew exactly what they were doing.
With 18 songs and just over 22 minutes, you don’t have time to get tired of this album. I guarantee the only thing you’re going to do at the end of it is play it again. Maybe if you’re like me, you have the LP on the turntable at home, the album loaded on your ipod in your car and are enjoying personal anthems all day. I could possible be on over 50 listens at this point and that is no exaggeration. I am still not tired of listening and finding new favorites each time. Do yourself a favor, go check out this band, this album, their earlier full-length/EP’s and start enjoying music again. I know I certainly am. Don’t just take this as your typical melodic-hardcore. There is a pop-punk sensibility that deserves mention also. I’m telling you, it’s not what it seems and will continue to surprise you.
I know after this review is released, I’m going to get in my car, listen and find more and more to say about the album, but I really could fill up pages so just take my word for it. Order it already!
So maybe it’s not a review as much an exclamation of my love for the album, but in the great words of Birdcloud, “I do what I want, Dammit!” - For the love of punk.


Spill Your Guts - 2010 (Death to False Hope)
Split 10" w/Tightrope - 2012 (My Fingers! My Brain!)
Stay Honest - 2013 (Get Party/My Fingers! My Brain!)



Energetic, raw, honest, heart on sleeve punk rock, four friends (Kyle, New Kyle, Greg, and Patty) have been causing a ruckus for the last 4½ years. Formed in 2010, Brutal Youth hit the ground running and recorded their first album, “Spill Your Guts”, after playing a handful of local shows. Shortly thereafter the group uprooted themselves from their hometown of St. John’s, NL and moved to Toronto.  After settling in to their new digs, Brutal Youth gained attention locally with their lightning-fast set lists and their sweat-soaked high-intensity performances. Fast forward 6 months and we find them on the road travelling across Canada, with a handful of shows across the border in the U.S. In a flurry of songwriting the band recorded a split 10” with Montreal locals Tightrope, which was released in February 2012 (My Fingers! My Brain! Records). Never content to rest, Brutal Youth headed back into the studio once again in Oct 2012 to record their sophomore album “Stay Honest” (My Fingers! My Brain! / Get Party!), which dropped April 2013 coupled with a celebratory tour.
With the success of Stay Honest Brutal Youth began once again writing and recording between shows and came up with their brand new as yet unreleased 5 song EP “Bottoming Out”
Now with their sights set on the Europe, once again B.Y. is headed out tour in Feb 2015.

Band Members