Young Rebel Set are a folk-rock band from Stockton-on-Tees, a small town way up north. Their sound fuses the ‘chugging beats’ of Americana and Country artists such as Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan with the punky grit of Northern England. In wake of their sophomore album released in September last year, YRS rocked Manchester’s Soup Kitchen back in November. I spoke to lead singer Matt about the gig…
‘We had a brilliant gig! Having started our career here it’s nice to see it build in steps, gradually building bigger and bigger audiences, with more and more people singing along. It’s really qualitative to see things growing!’ The new album Crocodile is filled with sing-along sentiment, with Matt Chipchase’s powerful vocals perfectly complimenting the band’s simmering grunge. ‘We’re really riding the wave at the moment – everything’s totally surpassed expectations! We’ve broadened our horizons with the new album and are letting it grow organically.’
As well as their success in the UK, YRS are a sensation in Germany and Switzerland, where they are currently midway through their 2nd tour of the new album. ‘We broke into the scene completely by accident, and treated our first tour out there like a bit of a holiday, but suddenly we found ourselves playing sold-out shows!’
‘The Lash of The Whip’ is the single from Crocodile, and is a real doff of the proverbial hat to indie bands like The Cribs and The Libertines, unfortunately a dying breed these days. The rousing organ and relentless drumbeat evoke memories of sweaty mosh-pits and spilt lager. Matt cites ‘Unforgiven’ as his favourite song from the album, written quickly and recorded live ‘as is’, he describes it as ‘thinking out loud’. A stripped down, emotive confession of guilt, the song breaks down into a Dylan-esque folk-rock stomp mid-way through.
In spite of the band’s frequent and arbitrary association with Nu-Folk, Matt maintains that YRS are ‘a rock band who use acoustic guitars. We don’t play to it, and don’t want to get caught up and confined by genre. People will take what they want from it.’
This band’s haughty and original acoustic rock make them well worth a listen, and their live show is not one to miss!