tue 18/06/2019

CD: Yak - Pursuit of Momentary Happiness | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Yak - Pursuit of Momentary Happiness

CD: Yak - Pursuit of Momentary Happiness

Solid return for loud-rockin' London trio

Driven to abstraction

“Are you tired of being pissed and confused?” opens the epic title track of Yak’s second album. Later on singer Oli Burslem brokenly croons, “For now I’m in pursuit of momentary happiness; it’s vacuous and a game gonna lose [sic]. Do you remember when we said it’d be easier if nobody felt a thing, no love, no loss, nothing…” The nihilistic lyrics belie an indie strum that blossoms into a sweeping explosion of melodically inclined space rock. Thus it is throughout. The lyrics are often gnarly but the tone triumphant.

Three-piece Yak created waves amongst NME-orientated aficionados of guitar rock when they impacted on the scene circa 2014-16. Then they disappeared. Turns out Burslem trawled across the world trying to put together new material, from Australia to Japan and beyond, his bassist leaving along the way. Yak almost came to an end, the frontman ended up completely broke and sofa-surfing back in London, but encouraged by Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce, Burslem snaffled a contract with EMI.

The Pierce aspect is important. Pursuit of Momentary Happiness is touched with Spiritualized’s way of injecting gospel euphoria into wrenching amped riffing, as on “Words Fail Me”, and Yak also have that band’s ability to drop into Memphis-flavoured heavy stoned soul rhythm’n’blues, such as on the closing eight-and-a-half minute “This House Has No Livingroom, a highlight which actually features Pierce.

This isn’t to say that Yak don’t rock out anymore. “Blinded by the Lights” and “White Carnivore” have a Thee Hypnotics-style, Stooges-indebted potency while “Pay-Off vs The Struggle” and especially the catchy “Layin’ It on the Line” could easily hail from Kasabian’s canon. Their ranging styles meet effectively on the album’s lead single, “Bellyache”, a hedonistic, tuneful, upbeat, wah-wah dance-noise party. It’s a bouncy, ebullient piece of music that deserves to set indie disco dancefloors alight the length of the land. The same can be said for most of the rest of the album.

Below: Watch the video for "Bellyache" by Yak


Umm the opening line doesnt say "Are you tired of being pissed and confused"....

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