Much of modern industrial music sounds like so much noise, but a subgenre of it known as “electronic body music” can be identified by danceably coherent melodies that almost recall happier, upbeat music. Enter Youth Code, a duo from Los Angeles, who have decided to pervert that paradigm by borrowing the brighter synths of EBM and marrying them to hardcore punk lyrics. The result is cold wave instrumentation that compels you to be light on your feet while simultaneously heavy vox beats you about the head.
Youth Code released their debut self-titled LP on Dais Records last year, drawing inspiration from early Wax Trax records and hardcore punk, something DC knows a lot about. Bandmates Ryan William George and Sara Taylor tackle synth and vocals with several different approaches, but the band is most arresting when she sings and he dirges, as demonstrated in their video for “Carried Mask.”
They strike me as being kind of like the Sleigh Bells of the industrial genre, in the way the indie pop group sought to blend genres and be loud. (I wouldn’t repeat that observation to any goth friends, however, if you care about saving face in front of them. :) )
One of the bands opening for Youth Code at the Black Cat this Sunday is DC’s own Technophobia, which recently released recordings of their songs “Bleeding Hands” and “A Coping Mechanism” to add to their first single, “Waltz Demise.”
With its driving beats from Katie and Stephen Petix and soaring vocals from Denman Anderson, “A Coping Mechanism” is truly one of the best songs from Technophobia, offering accessible dance music with soul-searching lyrics that avoid falling into routine despair or self-loathing. The darkwave outfit also does quite a bit to expand upon the appeal of what we consider the goth domain by intelligently applying more traditional pop formulations to their music, opening it sonically to a wider audience than you might anticipate.
You have a unique opportunity to check them both out this Sunday, Jan. 26, when they take over the backstage of the Black Cat. In addition to openers Technophobia, Youth Code are bringing L.A. trio Coming along with them to open as well.
w/ Coming, Technophobia
Sunday, Jan. 26