British rock band Young Guns stays consistent with latest release, but leaves listeners wanting more

Young Guns performs late last year in Orlando with fellow British rock band You Me At Six.
Young Guns performs late last year in Orlando with fellow British rock band You Me At Six.

Like a shoe that needs to be broken in, some albums may not be palatable initially, but get better with every listen. This is the case with Ones and Zeros, the latest and highly anticipated release from British rock band Young Guns.

Through the first play, the record feels a bit monotonous, with each song blending into the next and not one track accentuating from the rest. There wasn’t anything necessarily bad, but there wasn’t anything exceptionally good either. However, with a few more spins, the highlights of Ones and Zeros begin to shine, and the album, while still not being extraordinary, gains a ton of interest and enjoyability.

Eventually, certain songs begin to attract attention, stand out, and prove to be strong entities within the overall listening experience. “Rising Up,” arguably the most compelling track, opens the album with a powerful beat and equally powerful lyrics. Alongside a catchy sing-along, the chorus advises to not “bow down when you could be rising up.” Following “Rising Up,” “I Want Out” is a radio-ready single that has easy potential to bring rock into mainstream airplay, and “Infinity” boasts a sound chorus that shouts “this is where I belong.” “Daylight” and “Speaking in Tongues,” two Ones and Zeros highlights, pick up and add excitement to end of the album. The title tracks reveals the meaning behind Ones and Zeros by discussing the digitalization of communication, labeled as “ones and zeros” like computer code, and its effect on human relationships. “We’re suffering from digital pain, we lost of the love of life along the way,” admits the chorus, “but ones and zeros just can’t explain something in the air when we’re together.”

Slower moments like “Lullaby” and “Die on Time” shake up the album’s overarching sound, but they still fall short of adding the variety and depth Ones and Zeros needs.

A modern version of Brand New’s Déjà Entendu, the cover displays an astronaut fallen to his knees in a sterile white space, reminiscent of the themes in the title track. The symbol of an astronaut weaves its way through the album’s spacey, dreamy, almost arena rock sound.

Hailing from London and Buckinghamshire, Young Guns have achieved success in England with their sophomore record and its title track “Bones,” culminating in a mainstage slot at Reading and Leeds 2014. Young Guns’ entire catalogue effectively avoids the scene-y pop rock genre and instead hones in on a genuine rock mentality. The band has previously teamed up with pure rock bands You Me At Six and Breaking Benjamin to tour the states, as opposed to typical American scene exemplars, in an effort to gain popularity away from home. However, Young Guns’ sound is versatile, leaving them enough room to support a diverse array of bands. Late last year, they opened Bring Me The Horizon’s massive show at Wembley Arena, which was recorded and released as a special live DVD.

While it still doesn’t push the envelope as much as one would have hoped, Ones and Zeros, in general, with its decent amount of high points, builds a sturdy foundation for Young Guns’ to work with more complex efforts in the future.

Information from this article gathered from

Leave a Reply