Alert New London began as an extremely simple project - roommates Cory Nicol and Jim Fowler playing simple folk tunes in their basement in 2008.

Alert New London began as an extremely simple project - roommates Cory Nicol and Jim Fowler playing simple folk tunes in their basement in 2008.

Soon enough, "it started snowballing," Fowler said.

Little by little, Fowler pieced together a drum kit, and the duo began to experiment with primal rock 'n' roll inspired by the likes of The Velvet Underground and The White Stripes. They moved past that phase, too, as their tastes developed and their band grew into a quintet featuring David Woodrow, Gavin McKenzie and Stephen Lee.

"Our editing process got a little more stringent as the years went on," Nicol said. "Originally it was like, 'Well, here's four chords, and there's some words. That's it.' Now we're like a recording engineer's worst nightmare."

The band captured on Alert New London's debut full-length, "Youth," will not be mistaken for Jack White. Theirs is self-described "soundtrack music," humongous and airy and emotional, wrought from apprehension about change and the dozens of effects pedals they consider a badge of honor.

"Youth," to be celebrated Friday with a release show at Kobo and promoted with a regional tour, is an album about young men at an impasse, unwilling to commit to major life decisions despite pressure from family, society, etc. Why lock into a career path, get married and settle down in your mid-20s when life expectancy is longer than ever?

Such concepts come wrapped in moody sonics and yearning melodies - post-rock power ballads that would indeed sound right at home in the closing credits of some Hollywood blockbuster. It's a long way from playing Paul Simon covers in the basement.

"When you start, you try to sound like the people you like," McKenzie said. "Then eventually you start to sound like yourself."