We've had the British invasion, the Swedish invasion, and the Irish invasion. In the tradition of Jet and The Vines, Youth Group is helping to continue the Australian invasion.
While Youth Group hails from the other side of the world, they fit right into today's indie pop scene. Located somewhere between Death Cab for Cutie and Elefant, Youth Group sounds like the house band from the Bait Shop on The O.C.. Deliberate chords, even-tempered rhythm, and singer/songwriter/guitarist, Toby Martin's expressive singing, allow Youth Group's tunes to suck you right in.
Despite some upbeat, poppy tunes like opener, "Shadowland," Skeleton Jar is a lyrically bleak record. Standout track, "Lillian Lies" has a bit of a country feel, bringing out the song's lonesome, traveling theme. In the title track, Martin sings, "Be like the brother I never had/Be like the real son to my dad/How can you stand there/and watch this scene/I hate you for liking me." But listening to "Skeleton Jar," (and Skeleton Jar as a whole) you get more of a mellow vibe than a life-sucks-the-world-sucks-I-suck feel.
As Chris Walla from Death Cab for Cutie said (and as Epitaph prominently displayed on the album cover), "Youth Group gets it." Yes, they do. And you should get Skeleton Jar, too.