Recorded in Nashville, TN at Battletapes with engineer Jeremy Ferguson and producer Tim Kerr, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires' Youth Detention captures the band in raw form. Each song was cut live to tape, with the four performing in the same room without headphones or baffling. The result is thoroughly human, Lynn Bridges' mix retaining the band's live energy and looseness at the expense of a few out of tune strings. The Glory Fires' music draws deeply from punk, but also soul, power pop, country, and gospel. It's equal parts careful curation and geographic inheritance.
"It's the sound of my place," says Bains. "I want to know it. I want to argue with it. I don't want to be a band from anywhere that could be doing anything. For me, that's what punk is about - figuring out who I am and how to be the best version of myself. I can't do that by pretending to be something I'm not."
The songs are deeply rooted in Bains' experience of his hometown, Birmingham, AL. Youth Detention depicts a Southern city in the decades surrounding the turn-of-the-millennium: in the throes of white flight, urban disinvestment, racial tension, class struggle, gentrification, gender policing, homophobia, xenophobia, religious fervor, deindustrialization, and economic upheaval. The lyrics could ring true anywhere, though. The South exists in the world and, like the South, the world is increasingly beholden to many of these same tensions and forces.
The songs on Youth Detention are meant as small acts of resistance to those systems. Documenting minor moments - the refusal to sit quietly through a display of bigotry, the act of quieting down and listening to somebody's struggle, sticking up for friends targeted for their difference - that, hopefully, serve as the beginnings of a more profound awakening.