Young Fathers – White Men Are Black Men Too

Album Review by Katie Hawthorne | 31 Mar 2015
Album title: White Men Are Black Men Too
Artist: Young Fathers
Label: Big Dada
Release date: 6 April

Young Fathers' White Men Are Black Men Too is a gargantuan, fearless record. It’s a celebration, a rebuttal, a call to action; a dance party that won’t for a single minute let you rest. After last year’s surprise Mercury Prize win for album DEAD, you might expect the band to have suffered follow-up anxiety.

Not Young Fathers. This album is both more and less of everything; vicious and vital quasi-hip-hop, but tempered with a new-found softness. WMABMT sees the band grip the reins a little firmer and their patience is rewarded. The hits hit harder, more precisely targeted.

Though the Edinburgh-based three-piece has never been a band for genre box-ticking, they’ve never shied from claiming pop influence either. Try tracks like Dare Me, or 27 – you can almost imagine the trio perched on bar-stools, stepping down for a key-change to conduct a screaming crowd through a chorus that’s a million miles more ‘Fuck You’ than some clapped-out crooners.

Soulful, warming and full of warnings too, there are more ideas in a single bridge than most songwriters could come up with after tripping for a week at Burning Man. It’s a devastating task trying to pick a highlight. 

Playing Glasgow Art School on 20 May; Leeds Brudenell Social Club on 22 May; Manchester Gorilla on 25 May; Liverpool Kazimier on 7 Jun and Edinburgh Central Hall on 9 Jun as part of Neu!Reekie! #UntitledLive