Shift of Dismay
Label: Dais Records
Youth Code’s sophomore effort is a commanding statement of intent that uses skillfully balanced and mechanized aggression and dark, ethereal beauty. “Transitions,” “Avengement,” and the title track are venomous mixtures of electro-industrial and New York-inspired hardcore punk. With programmer/synth player Ryan William George laying down hammering beats and stabbing arpeggios, Sara Taylor barks, grunts and spits as though she were in a back alley brawl. The absence of any vocal effects (a common feature on the duo’s promising, if formative, 2013 debut) only heightens the pure savagery of her delivery. But Taylor and George don’t always rely on full-tilt sonic violence to leave an imposing impression. “Lacerate Wildly” is a raspy, spoken-word confessional immersed in bleak atmospherics, and it’s one of the most menacing cuts on the album.