Ben Cook's music lies on a spectrum. On one side is No Warning, his recently-reformed hardcore group, piercing and confrontational. In the middle is Fucked Up, the punk opus-creators, ambitious and vast, a unique blend of punk catharsis and pop melodies. You'll find other, poppier projects as you drift further along the line—Marvelous Darlings' swaggering melodic punk for starters—but at the far end is Young Guv, Cook's solo project and an outlet for the least diluted pop.
Young Guv's 2015 debut, Ripe 4 Luv, was the sound of a guy hopped up on sugar, Big Star, and Prince's "When You Were Mine." All eight tracks were glossy and intentionally catchy; at least four of them would have dominated rock radio in the late 1990s and are no less worthy of the airplay now.
"Traumatic," premiering on Noisey today, is Cook's first Young Guv track in over a year. Built around a synthetic drum loop and a fidgety guitar, it takes Ripe 4 Luv's power pop ideals and roots them more firmly in the 1980s, vocal dramatics and all. The melodies are still timeless though, just as easily translated to a high school prom in the 70s as they could be to a Fucked Up track today. The video for the song captures the song perfectly: Cook, guitar around his neck, sunglasses on, standing mostly in an empty swimming pool on an overcast day. It's stubbornly peppy in spite of the gloom and reassuringly human through the electrics.
Watch the video in full at the top of the page.
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