In terms of “emo,” Young American, the band formerly known as July, merits more comparisons to Dashboard Confessional than Rites of Spring, but this local four-piece manages to talk about their hurt feelings while keeping most of their self respect. “I’ll be coming back for you/ I just want inside your head” vocalist Jason Harari threatens the hopefully fictional Girl Who Broke His Heart in “Ready.” It’s angry and maybe grounds for a restraining order, but the guitar work is surprisingly intricate, and Harari makes a more-than-serviceable hook from “Oh, yeah, I am ready.” The lyrics on Late Nights are bitter for sure, but more mopey than violent, and unexpectedly sexually charged. This is both very good (highlight “11:11,” a mature and gorgeous track that recalls a moment of post-coital bliss through a filter of future heartbreak), and very bad (slap-
worthy putdown “Did you feel guilty wearing that white dress at your wedding?”). If it’s not a concept album — good Texas boy loses girl to the bright lights and big city — it may as well be, but Late Nights features some truly creative and catchy variations on pouty faces and kicked-puppy-dog eyes.
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