Impressive, to say the least.
Back in the summer of 2005, this writer was rather excited by Yeti. The whole Libertines phenomenon bypassed without too much of a ripple but ‘Never Lose Your Sense Of Wonder’ was a revelation. Shining like one of the best indie pop tracks of recent times, it promised a lot but seeing the band live soon after dashed those hopes. Nothing else they played that night came anywhere close to the main track and it was all a bit disappointing. Since then, its probably just been assumed that they kept plodding away with little success.
You can imagine the shock at hearing the debut album proper is being just being released and the band have a mini-EP (lets face it, 4 songs with one being an edit of the original may not fit the single regulations these days but its not an EP) to whet our whistle. And it does.
Lead track ‘Don’t Go Back To The One You Love’ is immense and entirely unexpected. Sounding more like a 60s mix of Crosby, Stills and Nash (maybe with Young as well) having a fight with Love, such is the blend of folky melodies and the mariachi horn section is excellent and a shock to the system.
The whistling section is almost Spaghetti Western-esque and the amount of elements thrown into the mix here is pretty startling. Its got a dark and warning edge and there isn’t much of a similar nature being released these days. There probably hasn’t been a new single that has caught the attention as much since Elbow’s ‘Grounds For Divorce’ and this is as much of a belter as that was.
‘Shane MacGowan’ is a very light and humorous look at the famous English / Irish singer who has been known to have a quiet ale or two before retiring for an evening. Its not a joke that will remain funny over time but for a little bit of comic relief, it does a job.
It was also interesting to hear a mention of Partick Thistle in ‘Northern Line’, the second best football team in Glasgow, much loved by pished jakies, students, wayward West-end types who are out for a spot of banter and those people who have a fear of success or crowds. Yes, the mighty Harry Wrags are the loveable rascals of Scottish football and their mention here will no doubt be another moment for their fans to boast about and add to the long list of Tam O’ Shanter that they like to indulge in. Make no mistake that their fans are all losers but hey, good for them and they join their city counterparts Celtic who were commemorated in song by Rod Stewart. This just leaves Rangers who haven’t been included by a major music artist, although they did have a lot of involvement with the Police in Manchester back in May. That left them with a number of records, albeit criminal as opposed to hit records!
After first hearing ‘Never Lose Your Sense Of Wonder’, it was felt that Yeti could go onto become the best thing to have escaped from the Libertines camp. This was quickly debunked after the live performance but this EP may just have pointed back to that idea. Of course, this is before the album review so stay tuned to R13 to see some frantic back-pedalling if the long player doesn’t live up to this promise.