When every other band sounded like Gang Of Four and came from Brooklyn? Youvves certainly do. Cardio-Vascular is their first release under their new moniker (they used to be called Mirror! Mirror!). If this were released six years ago, they’d no doubt be accused of jumping on the post-punk bandwagon. There’s so much hiss from the hi-hat throughout Cardio-Vascular that it sounds like they left a snake in the control room. The constant dum-tish-dum-tish of the drums really begins to annoy about halfway through this album, as does the cowbell. I imagine that when they play live, they hand their cowbell to a girl in the audience and ask her to play along. They sound like that kind of band. They probably talk a lot about how they want to get people dancing and are really interested in grooves, rather than hooks. It’s an admirable effort, but it does bring to mind that old heckle “don’t bore us, get to the chorus”.
Most, if it not all, of Cardio-Vascular has been done before. Though I doubt there’s a new idea on this record, it’s not all bad. To their credit, Youves hit upon some respectable discordant guitar riffs, which owe a lot to Chinese Stars. The whole record seems to act better as a flyer for their live show, points towards the fact that they’re probably a whole lot better when they’re playing right in front of you. On record, everything merges into everything else, creating a twenty-minute dirge of yelpy vocals, spiky guitars and disco drumming. Think of any punk-funk band from the beginning of the decade - The Rapture, Radio 4, Thunderbirds Are Now, the first Liars record, anyone, it doesn’t really matter. Youves are by no means better than any of these, but they’re no worse. If they play near you, go and see them. Just don’t forget your cowbell.