It's really rare that I'll brag about being one of the first people to tip a band, but by the time that London three-piece noiseniks Yak had put out their scintillating debut single Hungry Heart, I'd seen them 3 times and got the t shirt to prove it. As an angsty teen music blogger, they're one of the first bands I've been able to really get behind, and see develop fast but slow, y'know?
So 12 months on from Hungry Heart, they've got their debut album slated for release, and it goes by the name of Alas Salvation, a promising title for a menacing guitar record if ever there was one. 13 songs long and including previously released songs like Hungry Heart, Smile and new track Victorious, it's already got me frothing at the mouth.
Yak have an incredible live intensity that is unrivalled - paralleled (off the top of my head) only by the likes of Dressmaker, A Place To Bury Strangers and The Wytches - and a knack for capturing that on record. The sense of pummelling urgency that makes their live shows infamous is available OD on their studio stuff, and unlike a lotta bands at this level, who get signed and lose the taste for noise, fuzz and squealing guitars, Yak's studio material seems to be getting more and more like an untamed beast.
No, which arrived at the end of last year, was arguably their weakest single to date. A good song, oui, but one lacking in the raw power and energy of their earlier releases. So yanno, even though that could have put me off a little, when I heard the recent return to pulverising form that is latest song Victorious, a grade A dinner bringer if ever there was one, the faith was restored. And y'know, Victorious is on the album and No isn't. Sweet.
Essentially, the British alt scene is crying out for a killer guitar record. And I don't wanna get too overexcited too quickly, but y'know, I've been banging on about Yak for some time - so Alas Salvation might just be one release to make you really cock your head and get excited about long haired pretty boys with guitars again...
“I was trying to make it a slightly schizophrenic record that had all these different elements, but had so much of everything that by the end it would all just be lost and everybody would be like, ‘What the hell was that? I don’t know what that was, but I kind of enjoyed it" - Oli Burslem, frontman
Alas Salvation Tracklist
1. Victorious (National Anthem)
2. Hungry Heart
3. Use Somebody
4. (Interlude I)
5. Roll Another
6. Curtain Twitcher
7. Take It
8. Harbour The Feeling
9. Alas Salvation
11. Doo Wah
12. (Interlude II)
13. Please Don’t Wait For Me
(written by calum cashin)