All My Records: Youth of Today – Can’t Close My Eyes

All My Records:
Youth of Today
Can’t Close My Eyes

by Jimbo Rosario

Youth of Today - Can't Close My Eyes LP

When I was in high school, I was pretty into Straight Edge. I was kind of a dick about it actually. I thought Minor Threat ruled the world and I thought that all Straight Edge bands would sound like them. So when I bought Youth Of Today’s album Break Down the Walls, I thought I knew what I was getting into. It was actually the first LP I ever bought. I got it at the now long defunct Northern Lights Music in Minneapolis, MN. I brought it over to my friend Jim’s sister’s apartment, put it on her turntable, and  proceeded to be disappointed. “What the fuck is this?” I thought. These dudes sounded like shitty jock metal to me.


This was back in 1994. It was before the internet was available to most people (I had never even heard of it at that point) so I was going on what a bunch of S.H.A.R.P.s that were hanging out at my friend’s sister’s place had told me. It was the shit, they said. To me, it was most definitely not the shit. They were pretty stoked that I brought it over though. I also bought a cassette version of Bikini Kill’s Pussy Whipped that day. The  S.H.A.R.P.s weren’t quite as stoked about that one.

Anyway, Break Down the Walls was my first real dive into the risks you took when buying records before you could preview everything online. But the front cover was so cool! All those X’s and wild crowds!

It took me a while to come back to Youth Of Today. I would even bad mouth them to people, telling them how much they sucked. I’m not sure when I put that record back on again and gave it another chance, but shit was I wrong about it. I guess it took me a few years to hear lots of other shittier punk and hardcore to really appreciate these Youth Crew maniacs. I didn’t have much access to stuff back then. I don’t know what I was thinking. 

I haven’t been Straight Edge in almost 20 years, but I love me some good old fashioned sXe HardCore. Can’t Close My Eyes seems to be a collection of EPs and selected tracks from other, older pre-BDTW releases. Lots of these songs are on Break Down the Walls but I like them better here. They all sound younger and rawer on this release, and I suppose they were. I kind of wish I had heard this stuff before I heard BDTW. Maybe I would have sung their praises for all those years instead of shit talking. 

Forgive me fellas.


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