Yak – Alas Salvation
Punk | Garage Rock
A long while before they actually released any music Yak had already built up a reputation as the most exciting live band in the country for those in the know. The band are wild, destructive and unpredictable, all the qualities that are synonymous with punk but have been forgotten over the years. Sadly whilst throwing caution to the wind is an admirable quality for gigs it doesn’t translate very well into the studio versions. Alas Salvation is an all out assault on the ears, an ever encroaching wall of noise that often drowns out the interesting melodies and witty lyrical snippets.
In amongst the deafening drone are a few flashes of genius. ‘Hungry Heart’ opens with a great baseline that sounds awfully like the breakdown from ‘Dazed and Confused’, ‘Smile’ sounds like a blend of Iggy Pop and The Doors, and ‘Roll Another’ calms things down briefly and makes a nice change of pace. The album highlight though is probably ‘Use Somebody’ which features some of the best musicianship on the album and is easily one of the more user friendly tracks. The band’s standout track from their earlier EPs ‘Plastic People’ sadly didn’t make the final cut. If you’re looking for a no holds barred adrenaline fuelled thrill ride then Yak are the band for you, but their debut is just a murky reflection of who they truly are. If you want to experience these songs the way they’re meant to be heard then you should see them live instead.