Yak – No // EP Review

YAK no

Third Man – November 20th

Anyone familiar with Jack White’s Third Man Records will know that, like the man himself, it’s a bit ‘out there’. It’s a fitting label, therefore, for EP number two from outlandish London-based garage-psych outfit Yak – well, that and the fact that Kiwi drummer Elliot Rawson is White’s Antipodean doppelganger.

Yak have been a tricky band to pin down thus far – and that’s not going to change just yet. On No, however, they seem to at least be moving towards drawing some conclusions from what, until now has felt like experimentation to a certain degree.

No’s title-track opener is as frantic and berserk as Yak’s break-out earliest offerings, ‘Plastic People’ and ‘Hungry Heart’, its foreboding bass line and warning alarm-like guitar chords the perfect complements to Oli Burlsem’s borderline maniacal vocals. It’s worth mentioning that Burlsem is to Mick Jagger what Elliot Rawson is to Jack White, leaving bassist Andy Jones as the only member of the group able to walk down the street without the possibility of being mistaken for a member of rock and roll royalty.

‘Alas Salvation’ serves as this notably brief EP’s midpoint, “Alas salvation / I came to save your bacon” the only fully coherent lyric on perplexing mish-mash of unstable distortion that’s over all too quickly. It’s bizarre – yet oddly fascinating.

Closer ‘Out On A Limb’ is another strange beast, one which masquerades as a long lost Libertines song before taking on a somewhat sinister tone, ultimately departing in an intense blaze of hard-rocking glory. It’s a suitably enthralling ending to the latest attention-grabbing release from a band the pieces of whose puzzle we’re beginning to put together.

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Buy: Yak – No

Live: Moth Club – November 17th