Review: Young Hunting - Attachment in a Child and the Subsequent Condition

Attachment in a Child and the Subsequent Condition comes accompanied by a written explanation of its concept and narrative. Young Hunting’s debut is revealed to delve into the relationship between mother and boy child, the evolution of this relationship, the progression of mental state as boy embarks on the gradual transformation into man and the negative emotions involved throughout…apparently the band have a lot to cover in this album, although thankfully they’ve given themselves 79 minutes in which to do it. This is an ambitious first step for a group with no previous recorded output and no live performances behind them.

The album weaves between pieces driven by cold, percussive beats and murky stretches of soundscape, dotted with muttered spoken passages and samples that screech and scrape just barely within earshot. The track transitions – or seams in the narrative – are nicely worked. Young Hunting forge their sound early on and stick by it, and whilst it may flicker suddenly between the rhythmically-driven and endless corridors of reverberation, it always feels attributable to one, singular personality.

But despite the album’s claim that its sounds are largely derived from “raw materials”, Attachment in a Child… suffers from a synthetic sheen that makes it difficult to connect with. The atmosphere is implied – claustrophobic and paranoid, twisting into dark recesses – yet the album’s execution leaves this atmosphere at arm’s length, with gloomy melodies dampened by the two-dimensional textures that carry them.

“Earth’s Ground” is a rare example of everything coming together coherently – a cyclical, broken minor chord loops and loops, whilst vocals drenched in echo and deeply resonant percussive thuds become caught in its orbit. The album needs more eerie moments like this, where sounds slot together in a way which feels more organic, allowing the haunting unease to finally seep beneath the skin.

It just feels as though Young Hunting are rich with an ambition that they’re not currently capable of realising. According to the accompanying written material, Attachment in a Child and the Subsequent Condition takes “states of anxiety, sadness, depression, anger, irritability, mental confusion, low sense of self-worth, vigilance, impulsive and compulsive acts, lethargy, unpleasant disturbing thoughts, repetition of thoughts and obsession, habitual fantasizing, negativity and cynicism – reattaching these states in their rawest form, showing deprived honesty through their extreme conditions in the recreation of their initial sensation.” Unfortunately, the record isn’t immersive enough to make the listener feel these too.