Young Rival Part II Exploring band identity through recording

Young Rival Live By: Acey Rowe
November 29, 2009

The Beatles meets The Ramones: a dirty vintage sound complimented by cadenced arcs (and without the self-conscious grind of intentional rawness), Young Rival has found a way to make good old rock n’ roll their own.

The past year has seen the release of their third album, a self-titled EP under their new name, followed by a three-month tour across North America. Now back in Hamilton focusing on local shows while their day jobs catch up to them, the members of Young Rival have time to reflect on their identity as a band. 

It’s an identity that centers on musicianship. For them the most important thing has always been honestly portraying themselves and their music, both on stage and in the studio.  So when it came to the Young Rival EP, recorded in two days in New York by Emery Dobyns (Lou Reed, Patti Smith), the one thing the band walked into the studio knowing was that they didn’t want an over produced record with no personality.

 “The [current] recording method…is destroying music,” said drummer Noah Fralick. “It’s leading to heavily processed records that have no character, no vibe. I think that some of the best records probably have little mistakes and inconsistencies because those bands chose the takes that feel right, not necessarily the ones that were technically the best.”

Instead, the band sought a fresh, hot-off-the-floor feel for their album with intentions of capturing “the feel of a live album but with studio quality,” said bassist John Smith.

At no moment does the recording sound unrefined. Rather, Young Rival’s performance on their EP is so crisp any additional production would be noticeably excessive.
Young Rival Live Toronto
Still, when it comes to other artists utilizing the popular production styles, Fralick is understanding.  “I wouldn’t want to be some pompous asshole.  Those methods can work really well for a lot of genres, but for us as a band what we value is musicianship and trying as best we can to be real deal. If you can’t create something on a stage you shouldn’t go into a studio and manipulate what you are as a band. We know what we are and we want to represent that as best we can.”

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