From The Vault Part 3: The Young Immortals – When History Meets Fictions

young immortalsGet ready for story time boys and girls, because this is going to be a good one. Well, I guess good is a subjective descriptor. But, here we go.

The story of how I came across this album has many ups, a few lows, but eventually has a happy ending, I think. And just to forewarn everyone, I don’t actually have much to say about the album itself. It’s not bad. It’s some hardcore press play pop punk that is heavily distorted with somewhat whiny vocals that were probably 6-8 years too late to really have an impact. That’s about all I have to say about the actual content of the album. I do know that I as hear it while I am typing these words, I am reminiscent as fuck, and sometimes that is fun.

I am not entirely certain of how I came across The Young Immortals. But, I clearly remember the time period. It was 2007. I was a 22 year old “up and coming” music blogger. It was the heyday of Myspace, and I was mesmerized by the power of this social media thing that was happening. I was living in Rapid City, South Dakota yet obsessed with my “homeland” of the Pacific Northwest. I feel like I had to have come across this band when I was starting my Myspace page Northwest Flava (yeah, I’m not that proud of that, but I was 22, leave me alone).  I was consistently searching for music from the Portland area. The area was blowing up, and such wonderful things were happening. A few years later an Emmy Award winning sketch show would be based out of there, we should have seen that coming. The whole seen was/is ripe for parody. But, I digress. Somehow I came across The Young Immortals. And via their MySpace page, I found out that they would be in Rapid City. I sort of freaked out. I was only toying around with the idea of writing about music on the interwebs at this point, I hadn’t become the unpaid pretentious dirt bag that I eventually became just yet. So I went to see a band. I went to see The Young Immortals at….I seriously can’t remember. But, I do remember that the place seemed more like a restaurant. I do know that I lived there for 2 more years after this show, and I don’t remember any more shows advertised there outside of Sturgis season. I could definitely be wrong, but this is what I know now.

The energy of these guys really blew me away. They were perfectly loud and melodic, and seemed like a wonderful trio. So, of course, I bought their album at the merch table that everyone seemed to ignore, and this is why I have this album. What I didn’t expect to happen was that I would develop a great friendship with that band’s bass player, a man not unfamiliar to the Children of Mercy and Trainwreck’d Society world, Mr. Mike Phillips. I have developed a great friendship with this cat over the last decade that I am eternally grateful for. Through the positive powers of the internet, I have stayed in touch with this guy for all of these years. He was actually a part of the that PDX based group of contributors I met with for signings that I mentioned in the the last Vault edition, which I know you all read. And with that meeting and another at The Hop & Vine, also in Portland, to see his second band The Fenbi International Superstars (also not a stranger to TWS), it has always felt like we are just old pals meeting up one again, as though we have known each other our whole lives. Basically, the friendship I have with Mike is one of the few success stories of the internet.

And if I were to be perfectly candid, Mike is the only real reason that I simply cannot let this record go. It is a good album, for better or worse, but it’s really just another physical reminder of the beginning of a time that would encapsulate my life up until July of 2015 when I hung up my cap in the music blogging world, after what I felt was just enough.

the young immortals


The Young Immortals eventually dissipated in a rather ugly way. There are a lot of details that, out of respect for the great Mike Phillips, I don’t really feel like I should get into. But, I am willing to make one statement that might swirl the right ideas around in your head. The band’s frontman, Jacob Ray has a solo record out there that actually features some of the same tracks that are on When History Meets Fiction. Yet, they are just awful. I could never deny that Ray can write the fuck out of a catchy pop punk song, but the absence of Mike Phillips and drummer Scotty Gervais (Sorry for taking this long to shout you out Scotty, you’re dope too!) is severely missed on that record. And I honestly don’t know what he has been up to since The Young Immortals demised, yet I’m not really that interested in any art he may wish to create that didn’t involved Mike and Scotty. That’s all I will say.

So, where is the happy ending in all of this? Well, I personally have such fond memories that revolve around this brilliant collection of 13 fun and delightfully depressing tracks. And I have a great friend out of the whole deal. Mike is doing great things with his live back in Portland, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. So, yeah, I don’t see myself shoveling this one off to the local pawn shop anytime soon. I may not break it out for a listen that often, but the memories will always be there. And why would I want to lose those?


About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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