When it comes to maintaining consistency in content and energy, the guys in Pistols At Dawn are experts. Any project you listen to by them feels as concise and focused as the last, and their latest EP, Nocturnal Youth, is no exception. The four tracks are all extremely well-produced, and they each feel inevitably destined to springboard the band into the conversation for the most efficient rock group on the rise. Nocturnal Youth is a project that immediately (and unapologetically) grabs listeners by the bootstraps from the first second of its runtime, demanding a captive audience. Well, Pistols At Dawn, you have my attention and you more than deserve it.
The EP opens with “Voices,” a song fans might recognize from an earlier single release. The production has seemingly remained the same, which is to say… it’s fantastic. It is a heavy, unforgiving piece of rock that hinges on the edge of hardcore without losing itself in growls and screaming. The clean vocals on display by Chris Pierson shine like a beacon through the dingy, gorgeously dour guitars as they shred apart the scene like chainsaws. The trend continues with the second entry on Nocturnal Youth with another previously released single of similar quality, “Crown.” This track takes the cake as the project’s standout, even though all four tracks are neck in neck for the (forgive me) crown, its lyrics not pulling any punches as it comes for the heads of those in charge and calling out the people too unaware to look up and realize what’s amiss.
The attention to the overall dystopia the world is steadily declining into is at the forefront of Pistols At Dawn’s lyrical focus, and “Crown” manages to pull off the heavy task of conveying such thoughts without ever coming across as cheesy. “Now Is The Time” appears third on the EP and continues running with the thematic depth explored in “Crown,” which ultimately runs throughout the entirety of Nocturnal Youth. The song serves, initially, as a tension-breaker between the singles and songs not yet released, and it carries that task well. Following “Crown” is a hard thing to do in any regard but “Now Is The Time” makes do. The final track on Nocturnal Youth grabs you by the neck; “Gone Black” is an EP closer as primed for a grand finale as they come, and it serves its purpose well. It hits the ground running and all but demands a repeat listen of Nocturnal Youth as soon as it finishes.
Pistols At Dawn is a band that feels so certain and comfortable in their releases that I can’t help but wonder if they know something we don’t. There’s certainly more on the very near horizon for the band in regards to big things, and Nocturnal Youth ultimately being relegated to a stepping stone towards something even larger feels both necessary and unfortunate as it’s an incredible EP and deserves to shine for a time. The band will undoubtedly give the project its due before the next phase of Pistols At Dawn begins, and there’s no doubt that whatever they have up their sleeves will be an incredible follow-up project.