Before the economic crisis – not sure which one as there have been several - devastated the high street, there were shops that sold anoraks openly. It wasn’t actually illegal so I suppose no one thought to stop them and I further suppose that all those people who openly flaunted fashion by buying said garments would have listened to a band like Champion of Youth on their Walkmans.
Not that Champion of Youth have been around that long but they do demonstrate a mastery of that frozen in time indie pop sound that I, for all of my adult life, have assumed came with an affinity for anoraks. Fashion commentary aside, and despite their somewhat reticent presentation, Champion of Youth offer us, through literate lyrics, a wry look at the discontinuities of life delicately seasoned with the kind of irony that educated ears would normally associate with Britpop.
So, while you get songs that won’t fill a stadium, that isn’t really the point of this album. The indie pop genre is a well-grounded genre and Champion of Youth sensibly play to the crowd with these seven minor key songs that, remarkably, leave you with a nice warm feeling much like when you watch “Gregory’s Girl” for the twenty seventh time. Yes, I actually feel quite sentimental about albums like this.
Best song? “I Wish You Hell”.
The verdict? Not a big hitter but still reliably scores home runs.
Available from Bandcamp.