Yak: Alas Salvation (Octopus Electrical/Kobalt) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, November 27th, 2020  

Yak

Alas Salvation

Octopus Electrical/Kobalt

May 26, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Yak has built a reputation as a thrilling, unpredictable live band prone to throwing guitars crowdward during feedback-squelched noise pileups.

The dissonance is present on the debut, Alas Salvation, sometimes sulking as a steady backdrop to the crunchy, conventional hard rock in the foreground. In "Hungry Heart," a sudden burst of noise interrupts a steady motorik chug, shoots skyward and squeals like an unpredictable bottle rocket that barrels back to weave through the legs of gleeful teenagers. The song introduces the strongest portion of the recorda five-track run where Yak carves its own sound, as opposed to knocking through a list of undistilled influences. The momentum steadily builds during a triumphant, free-association noise finale to "Use Somebody," feeds into a graceful "Interlude" and through the introspective "Roll Another."

The trip comes to a sudden halt on "Take It," with frontman Oli Burslem's snarl transformed into Thom Yorke-brand nasal spray. Here forward, with the exception of the energetic "Harbour the Feeling" it's tempting for the listener to play alt rock bingo. "Doo Wah" is the kind of hit The Strokes don't write anymore, complete with an Is This It-era vocal mix that sounds recorded through a payphone. The opening snare drum on "Please Don't Wait For Me" could be sampled from Tame Impala's Innerspeaker. Sure, it's a fun game to play: "Oh, there's Radiohead, and The White Stripes! And Spiritualized, and Nick Cave." The individual parts form a tasteful and varied list of NME catnip, but prove ultimately distracting on an otherwise engaging debut. (yak.lnk.to/album)

Author rating: 6.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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