Taylor Young Band - Mercury Transit

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 12 / 4 / 2022

Taylor Young Band - Mercury Transit

Label: Handdrawn Recorda
Format: CD
Uplifting and appealing collection of songs on debut album from the Taylor Young Band which mixes pop, country and power pop perfectly


Taylor Young has paid his dues. The Texan born and bred songwriter started out his musical career as drummer for Hi-Fi Drowning before vacating his drum stool and forming The O’s , a country-folk duo with John Pedigo which released a handful of albums between 2009 and 2016 and found Young developing his guitar skills and fronting a band instead of being behind the drum kit. ‘Mercury Transit’ is the debut album from The Taylor Young Band and it shows that Young has gained much from his experiences in his previous bands and all that time on the road touring. The ten original Young-penned songs on this album sound like they are being performed by a band that is so tight they must have been together for years. Young takes lead vocals, rhythm guitar, some lead and, unsurprisingly, drums and percussion. Producer and engineer Toby Pipes also plays guitar alongside supplying bass and keyboards while more lead guitar is ably played by Kenny Wayne. And what a glorious sound they make together. There’s a line in the halfway song on the album ,’ Daze Of The Week’ that sums up this whole album. “My favourite colour is the sun.” sings Taylor on this frantic jangly rush of a song. We might well be in the middle of winter as this album plays out but it can’t fail to add some light to these dark days and times we are living in. It’s simple; want to know if The Byrds were still around making records in this decade how their fans would want them to sound? Exactly like The Taylor Young band do. You can hear traces from every Byrds-inspired band from Big Star on, and there have been so many, but few have taken on the challenge of updating their obvious love for jangly pop music with a message better than The Taylor Young Band do on this collection of songs. For starters Young has a distinctive, friendly voice that is ideally suited to this jangly pop; it’s fresh but familiar at the same time. Most of the songs have a feel-good vibe to them,. It’s difficult not to come away from the album without being in a better frame of mind than when you started listening. The whole album is uplifting. Young and his buddies make the sun shine on the dullest of days. His flair for melodies that spin around your head after just one listen is uncanny and those guitars chiming and jangling just don’t let up. It’s perfect, intelligent pop music that although having its roots in the classic sound of the ‘60s (and McGuinn and Clark are not the only inspirations from that decade that are noticeable here) sounds so fresh and contemporary. It’s obvious from the opening bars of the first song, ‘Get Around’ that Young has it nailed. That guitar then his welcoming vocals and a melody to die for gives indication that here is a special talent. And it doesn’t stop there; the album keeps the pace up and it just gets better and better. Young takes in country, power pop and never forgets a big hook to wrap it all in to create something that although sounding familiar at times is uniquely his own. It’s pointless picking out individual songs, each one is a killer. While it’s true that there are suggestions of every band influenced by The Byrds in here from The Plimsouls through to Tom Petty, The Smiths and Teenage Fanclub, the list is endless, Young adds enough of his own vision and energy to make The Taylor Young Band in a class of their own. I can’t recommend this album highly enough or get it out of my head.

Track Listing:-

1 Get Around
2 Make You Wanna Stay
3 Shine on Me
4 Blue Eyed
5 Rattled
6 Daze of the Week
7 Five Cents
8 Wrong Place, Wrong Time
9 Out of My Mind
10 Drinkin

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