This week’s album recommendation trip takes a look at Yon Yonson‘s stellar 2017 LP, Yes No Sorry, before throwing it back to 2011, when Battles released their colourful myriad of an album in Gloss Drop. Revisit some of our writers’ faves below and soundtrack the weekend ahead!
YON YONSON – Yes No Sorry (2017)
By Lucy Regter
This trio out of Sydney have been making some of the most interesting, charming bedroom electronic pop and I’m kinda concerned that not enough people know about them. Yes No Sorry is the band’s third LP and proves difficult to categorise. Andrew Kuo‘s distinctly candid Australian twang stands stark over bubbling, sprawling, glitchy instrumentals that challenge the listener more than once (but in the best way).
Instrumental tracks like “Similar Decisions” will sweep you into a synth/jazz fusion; “Math” fumbles along with conversational flow and “This Evening” (definitely my album highlight) is nothing less than a beautifully restrained and poignant ballad.
So many pockets of experimental electro-pop tucked neatly into this 17-track release makes for sensations of rediscovery, even after your fourth or fifth listen. This album is introspective and simmers gently; it shouldn’t be rushed, but consumed slowly during the late hours of the night.
NOTHING – Tired of Nothing (2016)
By Margy Noble
Sometimes you hear an album and you learn to love it; it’s a few listens before it resonates. Sometimes the album hooks in, and fades away nearly as quickly as you fell in love with it. Tired of Tomorrow is neither – I loved it immediately, and I listen to it once a week as catharsis, as a self-indulgent sadness rumination, as just a great album.
Founder Dominic Palermo, former member of shortlived hardcore punk band Horror Show, spent two years in jail for aggravated assault and attempted manslaughter, after stabbing another man during a fight. Following the stint in jail, more appearance in more punk bands, and a lot of soul searching, he reached the place he needed to be to start Nothing.
This album is a journey into some sort of melancholy emotional splendour, a shoegaze/slowcore album filled with the haunting, searching lyrics of Palermo. Tracks like “Abcessive Compulsive Disorder” are raw, relatable and riff heavy. Lyrics like, “Can someone find a cure/you know me and you know I am not well” diving into addiction, mental illness, existential dread. Damn.
The relentless guitars throb away, stripping away your emotional barriers while the wall of sound looms. Edging towards blissful and beautiful, the album’s darker undercurrents mean that there’s always new nooks to discover. Get it into you.
BATTLES – Gloss Drop (2011)
By Sosefina Fuamoli
The first Battles album without Tyondai Braxton came in 2011’s Gloss Drop and more than lived up to the expectation many had of it. Brimming with vibrancy and a tension that threatened to spill over in different areas, Gloss Drop became an album of intrigue, excitement and eccentricity that has continued to swirl even now, six years on.
Featuring a number of prime guest vocalists including Kazu Mikano (Blonde Redhead), Mathias Aguayo and Gary Numan, Gloss Drop has moments of genius and purity in expression. While Battles’ debut album Mirrored seeming came out of nowhere and brought them instant acclaim, Gloss Drop – to me – has always stood out as one of the band’s more fleshed out and clever releases. Mostly instrumental, the listener is album to delve into this palette of tone, swirling texture and lofty, soaring melodies Battles have painted with their arrangements.
The album is playful, tickles the senses and remains steadfastly optimistic.
SUPER BEST FRIENDS – Status Updates (2015)
By Ruby Niemann
Sometimes overt politics in music are kind of awkward because they’re so earnest and I don’t know if we do earnest anymore… but at the same time they’re nice to hear. A lot of what’s happening in Australia right now is pretty much the exact conditions that spawned punk, and it’s great to see some punk bands heading back to that – less ‘Yeah mate let’s get pissed,’ and more ‘legitimately pissed off’. Super Best Friends is that band and on their album, Status Updates it is good.
Status Updates is a really strong Aussie rock album, at times scathing and sarcastic and sometimes highly entertaining. I also think that it’s an important one – it’s very important to have more and more people in every corner loudly questioning what is happening in modern Australian culture. We’re more than a bunch of alcoholic larrikins and it’s good to hear music reflecting the Australia that I live in, and the things that I care about.
YUCK – Self-Titled (2011)
By Freya Langley
Remember Yuck? The London four-piece have since changed the frontman, altered their sound, and continued to fly under the radar since their debut, self-titled album in 2011. The shoegaze-y, fuzz-driven, reverb heavy debut from the band is severely underrated and deserving of a revisit.
From the screaming riff and angsty, evocative lyrics of the opening track “Get Away” to the melodic hook of “Operation”, Yuck has captured the moodiness of 80s/90s alt-indie/shoegaze and channelled 2011’s flavour of angst to create a record that is heavy on fuzz, reverb and emotion. Laced with flavours of teen angst, the lead single, “Holing Out”, is an energetic track, smothered in layers of feedback and distortion. Vocals from Ilana Blumberg on “Georgia” are a refreshing change from former frontman Daniel Blumberg‘s crooning. It’s a light-headed, twee tune that slots in nicely between the warm fuzzies of “Suicide Policeman” and the moody love song, “Suck”.
The final track, “Rubber” is a fuzz-driven, affecting, slow-burner of a track. It’s seven minutes of droning climaxing in an ecstatic mess of noise and fuzz. This may seem excessive (and for some bands, it is), but for Yuck, they’ve delivered seven minutes of pleasantly hypnotic crooning vocals and distorted guitars. At times, the songwriting, sound and structure seem confused and out of place, with songs on the album’s B-sides more deserving of a place on the primary tracklist. Ultimately though, the record deservedly featured on a number of ‘Best of 2011’ lists for its moody and evocative lyrical content and distinctive distorted sound.