Friday, February 17, 2017
Album Review :: Great Ytene - Locus
February 17 2017 (Faux Discx)
Words: Richard Cobb
The first album since their 2014 self-titled debut, it’s been quite an arduous journey for London-based psych/post-punk quartet Great Ytene to get to this point, with a shift in sound, a change in the band name (they were previously known as ‘Colours’) and line-up adjustments. If that wasn’t enough hoops to jump through, in 2015 the band fell victim to what can best be described as an error of mass proportions, when their whole album evaporated into thin air after a fall out with technology, so they were effectively back at square one. Rather than feel sorry for themselves, the band saw it as a bit of a blessing in disguise and a golden opportunity to perfect their craft and re-work and finely tune their material into what was to evolve into this album.
Opener ‘Mono Aware’ has some epic driving lead guitar work that runs off in its own direction, leaving the bass and drums to expertly take care of the engine room of the song in a similar style to Eagulls and Toy, but with a more sinister and darker edge. Sonically, track two, ‘George Street’, is very impressive and one of the high points on this album with the drums sounding sharp alongside the wailing banshee-like guitar lines that jump out at you. What I love about this genre is that it’s effortless to get lost and go to another place in your mind when listening to it, and this is something that Great Ytene have down to a tee on this album.
The title track is a great example and insight into what the band do so well, displaying all the key elements that make the band work, with the thunderous krautrock rhythm section and tremolo guitar lines. It took me a couple listens, but ‘Wanness’ was definitely a grower on me, the change of tempo works really well throughout and you’re never really sure where the song’s going to go which gives it layers and a decent level of unpredictability, making it a particularly pleasant listen, while ‘Fixed Victim’ is probably my favourite track here, there’s loads going on; the guitar riff is notable and the bass and drums are superbly disciplined once again.
It’s impossible to pick out a large portion of the vocals on this album, and that again is fairly genre specific, with the main beam being on the rhythm section. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re a fan of words with feeling in your songs, then this might not be your bag. Whilst ‘Locus’ isn’t bringing anything massively different to the table, it’s a really strong showing from the band and whether you’re already a fan of the genre, or just looking to try something different, it’s without doubt worth investing time in this album.