This week, I’ve added a new series to the blog: Sparked. I’ll be featuring bands that are about to ignite, and set your stereos ablaze. Maybe you will go psycho for them as I have!
Our first entry into the Sparked Hall of Fame is the London trio YAK. By fusing thrashing garage rock fury with moments of compelling, mind-expanding reverb, the group has created quite a buzz in the UK, as well as here after their recent CMJ showcase. At times, singer Oli Burslem evokes a more menacing but still poetic Jim Morrison (like on “Smile” from their Plastic People EP), and other times delivering a post-punk stream of consciousness snarl, displayed on the recent single “No” from their upcoming release.
If the new song is any indication of what to expect on their No Ep (out on Third Man Records and Rough Trade this month), it will be full of growling bass and spastic drums. YAK also develop some trippy elements, but they are kept in a tightly wound coil, ready to be launched at at any moment with immaculate precision. A touring spot supporting Palma Violets and a few festival appearances this past summer show promise for the future of the group. I am thoroughly impressed with their version of “Cumberland Gap”, a folk song. I grew up listening to the song as some of my family lives in the Appalachians of Southeast Kentucky. They stretched that song into a piece of ‘Ol Smoky psychedelic taffy. They will be touring UK the remainder of the year.