Music » CD Reviews

Young Marble Giants

Colossal Youth & Collected Works (Domino)


Despite punk culture's we're-not-like-everybody-else posturing, much of its music was rather conventional. But there were a handful of combos working with truly radical ideas, including Suicide, Pere Ubu, the Pop Group, and the U.K.'s Young Marble Giants, active between the years 1978 and '80.

Consisting of brothers Stuart and Philip Moxham (guitar, organ, bass, drum machine) and vocalist Alison Statton, YMG played at muted volumes while Statton sang in a pretty yet coolly detached tone. "Constantly Changing" and the title track from YMG's 1980 debut album, Colossal Youth, epitomize the trio's skeletal songwriting and production. The former features a Batman theme-inspired bassline, tantalizing surf-tinged guitars, and Statton's waif soprano. The latter features a sumptuous organ so rudimentary, it sounds like Booker T in his bassinet. (YMG even dedicated a song to him.) Another pinnacle in this three-disc compilation of YMG's entire output is "Final Day," a lovely post-apocalyptic lullaby. In retrospect, Young Marble Giants was ground zero for quietcore, sadcore, and pop minimalism. This is essential stuff.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.