There still seems to be place free at the top of the pedestal for British alternative rock/punk, it appears that no one ever manages to hold that number one spot down. However this isn't to do with live shows (because it's not often you get a bad show from any British punk rock band), it's more to do with album consistency and following up with a solid second album after an impressive first. This is what London rockers Young Guns are attempting with sophomore release Bones. They seem to have pushed other bands aside in the race for number one, and they are prepared to lock horns with Welsh veterans Lostprophets, who are ready to release their fifth album later this year and have regularly been sitting atop of the mountain. It's just unclear if Young Guns have peaked too early and lack the longevity of their Welsh counterparts... or maybe they are the fresh and matured punk rock sound Britain needs, breaking out of that teen fan base mould the genre has always thrived upon.

It's true that Young Guns have produced a richer, more polished sound for this album; it feels like they are aiming for that stadium rock scene, dreams of bright lights and an ocean of arms in the air. They have the potential to get there, as you feel songs like the anthemic 'Headlights' and 'Bones' were made for sell out crowds at festivals. You're on for a winner if you have a chorus the crowd can scream back to the lead singer “I feel it in my bones (bones) bones (bones)”. It's a natural step in the evolution of a British punk rock band, going from playing to hundreds of fans to thousands of fans.

Lead singer Gustav Wood is trying to do his best Jared Leto when it comes to vocals, by incorporating that deep, serious and sultry tone to woo the female listeners. A little bit of sex appeal isn't the problem, it's the lyrics that he spews out which can occasionally be far too sickly. Lyrics like “Don't runaway, take a shot, give it everything you've got” from the album opener grimly titled 'I Was Born I Have Lived I Will Surely Die' seem to pop up in verses and chorus' throughout the album, and they are rammed down your ear lobes. It's like the kind of lyrics you hear in a Big Brother evictee montage. So instead of using lyrics like this sparingly, making certain songs meaningful, they're used too much, making some songs meaningless.

Young Guns' maturity rings throughout the album, and you get the feeling that the band may have matured too early. The songs sound too serious and it's missing that fun side of punk rock that makes you air guitar like a lunatic on a night out. Bands like Lostprophets and The Blackout can pull this off easily, but for Young Guns it's more of a difficult proposition. It's only in lead single 'Learn My Lesson' when you get that feeling, a song which is more reminiscent of their debut EP, Mirror.

It's clear after listening to Bones, Young Guns are favouring the musical approach of successful American bands like 30 Seconds to Mars and My Chemical Romance. They aren't leading a British punk rock charge along with hybrid bands Pulled Apart By Horses and Enter Shikari (who they happen to be on tour with). This is a shame, but it's evident when listening to Bones that it has the chance to be a success across the pond. You can hear that Americanised twang in tracks 'Dearly Departed' and 'Brothers In Arms', and I don't think this was accidental.

Overall this is a big sounding album from a rock band not quite on the big stage yet; Bones is a slight step up from All Our Kings Are Dead in production, but the impression the album leaves isn't one of British rock dominance. It seems Young Guns are still climbing up the mountain, in the right direction, but it might take a while before they reach the top.