Yokozuna -John Frum EP
This is an amazing EP. It's a real joy to discover Yokozuna, a brilliant three-piece band from London. I adore Husker Du and Sugar, and this band gives me the same musical rush with their combination of garage band attack, melodic intelligence and emotionally intriguing lyrics.
Toy Boat, the first track on the EP, combines all these elements with what feels like a lyrical theme of lost redemption. It has a really catchy guitar refrain towards the latter part of the song, which provides an engaging shift in pace. The production is suitably raw with a great live feel, as if you were actually in the studio with the band.
Keith, Not Keith is one of the harder edged songs on the EP, with the band kicking up a relentless wall of sound, and lyrics that seem to reflect the crippling impact of materialism on the human spirit. I love the poignant line "and the snow that's falling on me now just starts to look the same somehow". This is a band that can really combine raw energy and attack with emotional vulnerability. A quite beguiling combination.
Other Guy has a tinge of threat and menace to it, with the promise of something to be unleashed; the strong bass playing really driving the intensity of the song; and Barlow's House, the closer on the EP, wears its grunge influences on its sleeve, combining both high energy and world weariness, with some great melodic guitar riffs.
A really creative set of songs, and a band I would love to see live. If you live in London, they are part of the Rip this Joint! DIY collective, who put on monthly shows at the Hope and Anchor in Islington. Do yourself a favour and go catch them.