When I saw Yak a few months ago at Gulliver’s, they were good but at the time, the support acts were much more interesting to me. However, with their debut album Alas Salvation, Yak produce some dirty, distorted rock ‘n’ roll with surprising worth and impact on a bland musical scene.

Opening track ‘Victorious (The National Anthem)’, bombards your brain with a brazen and bloated bass sound, accompanied by some ugly drumming and vocals that are serious and shameless. The way frontman Oliver Burslem screams “VICTORIOUS! … VICTORIOUS!” is ear pricking and exciting. Live, this was one of my favourite songs and the same can be said on this record.

‘Hungry Heart” and ‘Use Somebody’ are equally enjoyable. At this point in the album, I’m already won over. Yak have a good knack of writing catchy little rock ‘n’ roll tunes, putting them on an odd angle to portray an image of sideways living and a lifestyle of contempt for anything you fucking well please. ‘Interlude I’ was a fresh little moment as well, leading into the Velvet Underground-y ‘Roll Another’, again of titillating jest and filthy ceremony brought to the plate by this interesting three piece.

I could easily mention every track here as a highlight, ‘Curtain Twitcher’ in particular is a fantastic little song. Along with the brilliant ‘Harbour The Feeling’ with its numbing bass intro and repetitive drones of “HARBOUR THE FEELING, HARBOUR THE FEELING”. Again, distain in the musical discourse, Yak represents an attitude. It’s less about the fine details in the music, but just about the sound in general which puts across the message. Even though it’s unclear and unspecific, you just know what you’re listening to is angry as fuck. Similar in tone is the following cut, ‘Alas Salvation’. With its very odd, lyrical hook, which includes “vipers” and being invited by them. The lyrics on this album in general aren’t that interesting on paper, but you can’t feel music through paper can you? Without lyricism in music, what do you have? An orgy of mental masturbation by guys who say things like “Yeah, I’m more of a jazz purist myself”. No one gives a fuck about what most bands say, but the fact that it’s there, being squawked, is enough for me.

Again, ‘Smile’, is a cracking tune. It’s probably their most known track considering it’s been featured on a few TV adverts in the past 6 months or so, but then again, doubt most people would know the name of this three headed beast.

The album gets great again after abit of a 6/10 (‘Doo Wah’) with ‘Interlude II’, the warm fuzzy bass again inviting me in. It’s at this point I realise some psychedelic influence, it hasn’t been prevalent throughout, but it certainly is there. There’s not much else to say about this track really other than because of its conciseness, it’s far more engaging than a lot of “rock” music out there. I don’t even think we can consider this alternative in that spectrum. I’d rather label it the actual modern rock music, rather than let the other legions of fuckwits have that title.

The album finishes strongly with yet another curveball of sorts. Yak aren’t just a box of blunt razors being thrown at children. ‘Please Don’t Wait for me’ is a seven minute voyage of love and heartache. The soft and the sharp mixed with precision, the layers of different sound. Reverb vocals, disruptive bass and like on the rest of the album, brash and bulldozer drumming you simply have to violently shake your head to. It’s fucking class. The break down into just guitar, wailing country like voice and undertone of sinister synth, tops off Alas Salvation superbly.

“There we go”, which can be heard at the end of track 13, is damn right. It gives me the general feeling of saviour, Yak have almost died for our sins to rock ‘n’ roll and the kids of today, who are frankly being twisted into these horrible little creatures who crave the poison provided by bands such as Catshit and his Boring Men. Yak are indeed our salvation, they won’t be the permanent hero of this mini revolution of individuals who don’t wanna conform anymore, but they’re a founding father. They’re up there with Fat Whites, Cabbage, Bad Breeding, Sleaford Mods, as an act who just wanna fuck shit up, and scare away the untouched, untouchable, plain, flat youth of this decaying music scope. The industry is a cunt, and Yak are the dick to fuck it.

Top marks.

Release Date 13/05/2016 (Octopus Electrical)

YAK Facebook | Twitter

Liverpool born music writer with passion for punk and Everton FC