Live Review: Cassels & Youth Man | HY Brasil Music Club, Bristol | 14/02/2018

From its exterior, the HY Brasil Music Club looks like your average contemporary metropolitan café/bar. Yet if you where to ask any local with even the slightest interest in underground music about the establishment, it would likely provoke many a tale detailing its importance to Bristol’s music scene. Formally known as Start the Bus prior it’s redevelopment, the venue has served as a platform for both surfacing local acts and travelling musicians, becoming synonymous with the underground music subculture within city. With this in consideration it’s no surprise that this is the venue to play host to Cassels and Youth Man; potentially two of most exciting and crucial acts within the DIY scene.

Considering the fact that the venue doesn’t utilize an adjacent room for live shows, it’s an amusing sight to see Cassels [9/10] set up in a corner amidst the tables preoccupied with valentine’s day couples. There’s just something so apt about the Chipping Norton duo jumping straight into a set showcasing their volatile take on social-economically aware punk to the ignorant loved-up drinkers tonight. Consisting of just 2 brothers, it’s borderline unbelievable that this act can create a wall of static so intricate, dynamic and fluid. Throughout their set an aurora is projected that perfectly resonates their DIY, fresh and homegrown aesthetic without ever substituting sound quality in the process. Every minute and subtle change in tone and sound is evidently conspicuous and flawlessly presents their devotion to experimentation and creativity.

From performing tracks from their debut full length to yet to be released material, there’s an ever so slight resemblance to the other contemporary punk projects that have paved the way for them. However, this group are in a class of their own. Anxious, wavering and frustrated, the conjured energy and intensiveness parallels their influences and matches the dynamism found within their recorded material. If you’re yet to be introduced to this act, you soon will be; they’re easily one of the most sonically exciting and unique bands to emerge in recent years.

In comparison, Youth Man [9/10] opt to incorporate a slightly more conventional structure within their work at times. However, the delivery and sheer energy could not be more conventional in the slightest. Whilst Cassels focus on elements carrying anxiety and frustration, Youth Man’s focus is on delivering a blistering chaotic assault on the senses. Whilst this all suggests a level of aggression and hostility, none of these unsavoury elements are to be found here. There’s an evident degree of warmth and hospitality amidst their professional and tight approach to pleasantly obnoxious music.

There’s a certain level of stereotypical mundane-ness associated with modern punk. However, the trio bulldoze all associated cliches associated with the genre and deliver a set of consisting of a calculated concoction of weird punk orientated noise. It’s engaging, wild and stimulating on a primal level, rousing a sense of pure vigour within every punter in attendance. From sets like this, it’s transparent to see why the group are enjoying the spoils of a devoted following.

Whilst there may be many alternative acts playing Bristol tonight, with Boris and Arch Enemy playing their own respective shows locally, when you spot music connoisseur Big Jeff in attendance, you know you’ve picked the right gig. A colossally successful showcase presenting two of the most engaging and exciting acts the experimental punk and DIY scenes have to offer.