BY JOHN B. MOORE
With a voice that sounds like Elvis Costello’s brother, The Young Leaves bring just enough pop to their punk mix to make the Pop Punk genre palatable once again.
Coming out of the Boston suburbs, the band carry an impressive collection of influences given their relatively young ages. Along with Costello, there are hints of everyone from Dinosaur Jr. and The Descendents to Jawbreaker and the first few Lemonheads releases (when Evan Dando was still a sucker for distorted guitars). Alive and Well, is sonically sloppy and all over the place, but that just adds to the charm. Over the last few years Pop Punk bands tend to eschew loose production for a cleaned up polished sound, having forgotten that The Ramones were appealing, in part, because they seemed to be making up a lot of the music as they went along. And that’s one of the things that make The Young Leaves stand out from all those other bands that flog t-shirts at your local Hot Topics.
This debut is a promising start for a band that could evolve into the next saviors of punk rock… Then again, they could hire a popular producer on the next outing to rip the soul out of their music. Either/or.
DOWNLOAD: “I’d Rather Be Hurt,” “Holliston” and “That One Tree”