Malignus Youth


Missa Breva/Ephemeral

Malignus Youth - Missa Breva/Ephemeral ©1998 Youth-Ink
1. IUTY
2. Youth's Revenge
3. Crystal Meth Story
4. Eternity
5. Cartoon Death
6. Declaration Of Independence
7. Man
8. So Much Negative
9. Overwhelming All
10. 2nd Hour Constitution
11. Shadows
12. I've
13. Eyes
14. Life Dramatic With Change
15. One Way
16. AK-47
17. To Fulfill A Dream
18. Prelude
19. Kyrie
20. Gloria
21. Credo
22. Sanctus
23. Agnus Dei

As one of the most legendary Arizona hardcore/punk outfits, it is safe to say that nearly anyone who caught Malignus Youth in their day was converted into lifelong fan. Their ultra-speedy approach mixed with harmonized high vocals were infectious and memorable. Fortunately for all those still in mourning over their breakup, guitarist James Martin has kindly compiled some old tracks along with the excellent Missa Breva EP onto CD. Throughout the course of the album (which was compiled chronologically), you can hear the development of the band from youthful enthusiasm (and blast beats galore) in their earlier years to a more focused unit. You can hear a lot of old school punk influences including the Minutemen or any number of hardcore acts. As the material progresses, things like off-beat guitar riffing and the improving singing of Octavio Olaje and Martin's harmonies shine (to see what I mean, check out "One Way" or "AK-47"). It's a great thrill to hear this band on CD and hopefully James will continue to make this great band's catalogue available to those who missed out the first time around.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/1998

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Vinyl CD

Malignus Youth - Vinyl CD ©1999 Youth-Ink
1. Malignus Youth
2. I Think I Know
3. Go Ahead
4. Again
5. So This Is Life
6. In These Thoughts
7. Power Trip
8. The Only Unknown
9. Charlie
10. Who Could Say
11. When I Grow Up
12. Childhood Dreams
13. Push-pull
14. No Escape
15. Youth In Asia
16. Sue
17. Life, Lies, Truth
18. Hopelessly Insane
19. Carousel
20. The Riff
21. Middle Eastern Tune
22. Family
23. Crazy
24. Stains
25. Worlds
26. Of The World
27. States
28. Tension
29. Weak Air
30. From Dust To Dust
31. Why Is War?
32. Dancing Through The Fleshhold
33. More To It

I would say it's a long time overdue, but finally the rest of the Malignus Youth material is out on CD. This particular CD culls together material from two early EPs as well as the band's exceptional More to It LP. Personally I am thrilled to death that this is finally out on CD because my vinyl copy of More To It had a pressing problem and made a really annoying hissing sound each and every revolution on side A. Needless to say, that problem has been solved here.

For the uninitiated, Malignus Youth's music has been described as barbershop quartet meets warp speed punk. Singer Octavio Olaje's helium vocals and guitarist James Martin's backing harmonies are fairly high pitched. Often Octavio blurs through the lyrics so fast that he sounds like is spitting phonetics out randomly, especially on the older material. The band behind him, meanwhile, races through the tracks at breakneck speed. One thing that has stood out in the two reissue CDs is the skill level of bassist Tom Shelden and Mike Armenta's drumming. The bass in particular is nimble and commanding, while Armenta does a lot more than just keep a steady beat. As this CD progresses, you can also hear the band's progression from more basic aggression to an emphasis on song dynamics (particularly in the vocals). By the time you get to the More To It tracks, you'll hear a lot stronger material. The music is a lot more offbeat and stylized, especially on tracks like "Carousel", "Crazy" or "States". I do admit that I miss the little girl who originally sang "Little Bo Peep" at the beginning of the LP. Maybe she demanded higher royalties. Damn kid stars these days. Regardless, Vinyl is a hugely welcomed disc in my collection. It's very good to hear all these songs again.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/1999

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