By Debra Kate Schafer
Yungblud’s third EP, “The Underrated Youth,” dropped on Oct. 18 with a bang. After a wildly successful North American tour, a highly rated debut album and a chart-topping hit with Blink-182’s Travis Barker and his now-ex-girlfriend, Halsey, the U.K.-born musician was ready to take his newfound, mainstream success to the next level.
“The Underrated Youth” is anthemic, raw, angry, diverse and passionate — all of which is right in Yungblud’s wheelhouse. While his songs can’t be tied down to a single word or genre, almost every one is a scream-able headbanger, with lyrics that could very well be spray-painted on the side of a New York City subway.
“If you don’t say something, you ain’t an artist to me—you’re a fucking karaoke singer,” Yungblud told The New York Post in October.
Hard work, self-reflection, determination and a lot of heart helped the pink-sock-wearing singer-songwriter kickstart his musical career and get him to the place where he is now with “The Underrated Youth.”
The artist wants his fans to know that they can do the same for their own life, society and the world as a whole.
Rebellion is Yungblud’s forté in the best way possible — something that fans and critics alike have observed and come to love. The music world hasn’t really seen an artist like Yungblud in a long time.
He has the genre-defying power of Twenty One Pilots, the political angst of Green Day, the instrumental intricacy of the Cure, the mesmerizing songwriting of the Beatles and the natural melodic stylings of Nirvana, all while being a pseudo-mainstream alternative rock artist.
When listening to “The Underrated Youth,” Eminem-esque verses are intertwined with the early 2000s pop-punk. Yet, you don’t question it because Yungblud has a finesse and a flow that is remarkable to have so early in his career, but isn’t surprising due to his heavy hand on the creative control of his music.
The title track, “Hope for the Underrated Youth,” is bold and brash, but starts off silky smooth. The young Brit’s accented vocals sing, “If I left today, would you wait for me or would you throw us all away? Like the magazines say, should I call right away? Cut all of my hair off, and change my second name from a juvenile state?”
Lyrically, it’s somber, yet abrasive. Yungblud is singing truthfully about not being taken seriously unless he was or looked older, his consistent theme of wanting adults to take the younger generation seriously shining through. The earlier track, “Parents,” follows the same line in a similarly rough-and-tumble yet vulnerable fashion.
Songs like “Braindead” and “Original Me” — which features Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds — are full-force, indie-rock bangers that delve into an inner battle with depression and not feeling good enough in a fast-paced, best-face-forward type of world.
Yungblud himself has talked about his own battle with mental health and ADHD by actively drawing attention to it, as well as advocating for both the awareness of it and the help needed for those struggling.
The 22-year-old rocker also told The New York Post, “I’m proud to have a mental illness. I’m proud to be who I am.”
He is nothing more than a punk rock kid with a voice, a guitar and a platform. You can’t call him or any of the music off of “The Underrated Youth” whiny or bratty, for all it is doing is throwing forth real messages with a whole lot of meaning that people can really grasp onto and hold tight.
He wants the youth to have a voice, so he decided to be it — in the most rock ‘n’ roll fashion, of course. Yungblud is truly becoming the powerful, musical and equally cynical and hopeful voice of this generation.