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Tangents Review 'Who Invented Love?'

'Contemporary guitar rock music doesn't get any better than this'

There is a great reference to Linda Scott in the press release to The Young Playthings' debut set 'Who Invented Love?'. It is very apt, for there is a similar obsession with those themes of sexual awakening in their songs. Sure, it’s difficult to imagine Linda Scott singing a song like "Hot Sex With A Girl I Love", but there you are. I bet she would have liked to though.

Now there is so much about this Young Playthings record that I should hate. What was I saying about indie-rock-by-numbers earlier? Well, musically, The Young Playthings often do a lot of things that drive me to distraction. It’s formula, sure, but it’s the formula of sanitised ‘punk’ pop rock, and there are fewer more despicable styles. Yet I cannot help myself. I love it to bits. It is sweet, steamy, sensual and stormy. It is also impossibly catchy, with some of the finest Pop hooks I’ve heard in a long time. Former single "She’s A Rebel" is fantastic; soaring and stomping in equal measure. And "Tune" is just heartbreaking. It’s an American Rock ballad that I can see the kids in my art classes making super sweet animations to, and as I say, I should hate it with a passion. But those lines about standing at the airport cheek to cheek and “kissing ‘please don’t forget me’” just floor me. I just keep thinking of that Bill Murray / Scarlett Johansson moment at the end of Lost In Translation.

Elsewhere, on the epic "The American West" they sing of driving down the Pacific coast and listening to Patsy Cline. And really, you can’t not love that, can you? The song also is a kind of chronicle of the decline of American popular culture – a strange melange of contemporary rock and finger pickin’ country echoes. As it song it really sums up The Young Playthings: in love with a romantic notion of Pop culture, caught in a tension between the past, present and future.

If I say that contemporary guitar rock music doesn’t get any better than this, then you can take that any which way you want.

- Alistair Fitchett, Tangents