Although they're called Youth Group, these Australians don't just rely on reckless energy for their third album. They expend most of that youthful life force in its first half, with bouncy snark (“Sorry”), burning frustration (“Catching and Killing”) and a bass-propelled escape from home while the folks are asleep (“Under the Underpass”). From there, the sound mellows, and the band's particular style of guitar-pop — clean, shimmering and bittersweet — carries the rest of the album. Though the songwriting is strong, Youth Group's homeland hit is a rendition of '80s footnote Alphaville's “Forever Young” that's been stripped of its cosmic synths. Once featured on an episode of The O.C., the track put them in that group of lesser-knowns earning much-needed attention for perfectly scoring the teen-scene mood. Twilight might not be of much help during bonfires, football games or keggers, but for those introspective and heartsick moments, youths couldn't ask for a more appropriate soundtrack.
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File under: Sun-baked psych-pop with a sticky-sweet core For fans of: The Clean, Gap Dream, Apache Dropout From: Brisbane, Australia Personae: Daniel Spencer (vocals, drums), Luke Spencer (bass), Sarah Spencer (keyboa...