The Young and the Useless

On January 19, 2003, Rays Downtown hosted the record release party for the self-titled EP of West Palm Beach’s The Young and the Useless. The multi-room club clamored with anticipation as spectators took in a diverse variant of punk styles by the opening bands Five Cent Wish, Pygmy, and Mind Like Water. The near emotionless appearance of the crowd transformed without hesitation when The Young and the Useless struck their first chord.

Displaying a uniquely infectious brand of melodic hardcore, The Young and the Useless opened with the first song of their new album “I Would Like to Think that I am Still Immature.” The song encompasses a truly uplifting range of hardcore riffs that escalates into delirium by carnivalesque guitar leads played by Dean Lorenz.

“We try to be open to all different styles (of music)” stated Lorenz about the layer of guitar lines he contributes to the mix. Lorenz’s musical depth was also visually apparent, as his Gibson body-styled Fender guitar was clad with a large sticker that read “Radiohead”.

The energetic on-stage prowess incited the floor into rapture as fans engaged in the most hardcore of pit maneuvers while others jockeyed for position, converging on singer C.J. Jankow, as they vied for a chance to add backup vocals.

“Crowd participation plays a huge role in the overall intensity of the show. It definitely excites me to see the look on kids’ faces getting into the music and singing along.”

Leaving a wreckage of broken drumheads in their wake, The Young and the Useless continued on to the nonsensically titled song “Give Me a Break and a Tall Glass of Texas Tea”. The chunky and frantic opening sections of the song served as a preamble to a poignant sing along: “All I see are limits and boundaries, keeping me from who I want to be.”

The Young and the Useless played another trio of new songs from their self-titled EP before moving on to three songs from their 2002 full length release, A Smile is No Good for Me.

The show climaxed into a frenzy as The Young and the Useless strategically closed with a cover of “Anyway” by late-seventies rockers Journey. Neal Schon and Steve Perry never sounded so good.