Album Review: The Underground Youth – ‘Haunted’

The Underground Youth return with yet another vinyl masterpiece, their latest triumph, in the shape of ‘Haunted’.

Such is the buzz, for those in the know, around The Underground Youth – that the Fuzz Club Records deluxe vinyl edition of 100, sold out immediately on the day the pre-order was announced, one of which plays before me as I write this.


‘Haunted’ comes hot on the heels of the Fnord Tapes, Limited Edition Cassette, August release of ‘A Lo-fi Cinematic Landscape’, “a collection of primarily instrumental recordings that would form the soundtrack to an unfinished short film I began work on back in 2013. Although the script was never fully conceived and no footage was filmed, these recordings accompany the story as I imagined it would be told”. Written & Produced by Craig Dyer.

‘The Beautiful & Damned’ EP was a standout release of 2014, yet somehow, The Underground Youth have succeeded with ‘Haunted’ in enriching the depth, of every aspect of this release, with an unfathomable majestic grandeur.

Side 1 creeps into your subconscious with, ‘Collapsing Into Night’, it’s slow building intro giving way to Craig Dyer’s distinctively sonorous vocal, the “Only Lovers Left Alive” lyric, conjuring the cinematic tour de force of Jim Jarmusch’s offbeat poetic vampire movie of the same name, a sparse, epic, sweeping visualisation; ‘Haunted’, continues the lush, vivid production, the darkly prescient lyric, mixing poisoned minds with lies and gleeful torment, seemingly at odds with the uptempo gait of the track; ‘Dreaming With Maya Deren’, is an unrequited, soaring hollow-bodied, pining for the experiential avant-garde high priestess; ‘Self Inflicted’, is a skittish descent, wrestling with the myriad inducements to affliction.

Side 2 continues the immersion with, ‘Drown In Me’, a bright hydraulic cinematic cascade, yearning for the enveloping, eternal, rapturous embrace; ‘The Girl Behind’, features guest vocal by Daria Xenofontova, giving voice to the tormented schizophrenia, the lilting, anguished Berber-like mid-section, completing the minds eye free-fall; ‘Slave’, is a cautionary tale of spiralling, densely layered, tenebrous penury; ‘Deep Inside Of Me’, is a bass propelled, unflinching document of dark dystopian despair; Closing track, ‘Returning To Shadow’, examines masochistic hedonism, perhaps bookending the vampiric theme implied on opening track, ‘Collapsing Into Night’, a lovelorn melancholia, stretched against a vast aeonic canvas.

‘Haunted’ is that rarest of delicacies, an eldritchian cacotopia, suffused with verdant, orchestral opulence.

The Underground Youth in their road guise, comprising Craig, Olya, Frankie & Max play Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia on the 25th of September as part of a short UK then EU wide tour.

‘Haunted’, with sleeve art by Lorena Sequeyro is available now from the Fuzz Club Records Store.

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