Ben Cook has always had admirable breadth in his approach to music.
A member of Fucked Up, he remained a key part of their carnal, cathartic live shows, stretching hardcore punk definitions past breaking point.
His own work wanders down curious paths, using the Young Guv moniker as a catch-all for this solo creativity.
Starting as an art-punk venture, Young Guv has since broadened to encompass classic indie, power pop, and so much more.
Deciding to collate this stream of creativity, the Canadian artist recently shared his fantastic double album 'GUV I & GUV II'.
Out now, it's a record that speaks clearly of his passion for music - here, Ben names a few key touchstones from those recordings...
- - -
Dwight Twilley Band - 'Lookin' For The Magic'
Let's start with a fairly obvious choice if you are familiar with my records.
This song is a masterpiece of its genre. Perfect blend of glammy rock 'n' roll and power pop with a nasally echoplex'd slap vocal which sounds manic and relaxed all at the same time. In my head everyone knows this song and loves it - perhaps there's still the odd person who needs to get put on.
- - -
Close Lobsters - 'The Prophecy'
Scotland always does it the best. If you'd blend Scottish twee with some of the laddish monotone melodies of Stone Roses or a little more professional version of those Sarah Records bands you'd end up with Close Lobsters.
This entire record is great, and I've never grown tired of it.
- - -
China Crisis - 'Papua'
I love a band who is hit or miss. With a large discography of over thought crap that you can sift through and find some gems. With all due respect to the almighty China Crisis - this is that band. When they hit they really hit. Take in this deepish cut of theirs from their 'Working With Fire And Steel' LP.
- - -
Sugar - 'Changes'
Bob Mould is obviously a beast. The last time I saw him it was in Spain and we (Fucked Up) were sharing a festival lift to the airport. I only listened as Damian and Bob talked about wrestling. Actually, I put my headphones in.
That being said, this song is a favourite of mine. It actually was a huge mixing reference to some of the more rock songs on 'GUV I & II'. You wouldn't really know that when listening because we weren't able to achieve it at all. Probably for the best.
Thank you, Bob.
- - -
Prefab Sprout - 'Wild Horses'
This song is better than the Rolling Stones song. It's not a cover. But it's better. Listen to it.
Upon finding Prefab's first LP they instantly became one of my favourite bands - and not in a way where I thought "hey, I'd like to make music like this". More in a way that I enjoy listening to it so much and appreciating the intelligence behind the craft that I'd dare never try to imitate.
Prefab is a unique and wonderful experience to get into. I urge anyone who isn't familiar to dive in. This song is so timeless it almost sounds like Frank Ocean could come out with something like this and it wouldn't be weird. It's so charming.
- - -
Moet The Poet - 'Poem'
OK, I know nothing about this. I prefer it that way. I don't want to know where they are from, I don't care. I don't want to know what the singer did after this release or what he had for breakfast. This is from a comp I came across a long time ago.
It's British, it's punk, it has synth, it's anthemic, it's cool. That's it.
- - -
Young Guv’s new double album release 'GUV I & GUV II' is out now on Run For Cover.
Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.