Yak - Pursuit of Momentary Happiness (Album Review)

Monday, 18 February 2019 Written by Grant Jones

There is a large side order of expectation served up alongside London-based trio Yak’s second LP, ‘Pursuit of Momentary Happiness’, thanks to some friends in high places. Released on Jack White’s Third Man Records, and arriving after an endorsement from Tame Impala, the record also features a cameo from Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce for good measure.

Luckily, it only takes a few bites to reach the album’s substantial core. And by the time you lick the plate clean of its snarling tones, there is a satisfying aftertaste of garage-rock class and quality. 

‘Pursuit of Momentary Happiness’ kicks straight into action with opening track Bellyache and its booming rhythms, grating bass and electrified vocals. But the track also highlights the bitter lyrical jabs, uppercuts and haymakers that lead singer Oli Burslem throws with pinpoint accuracy at fat cats, wannabes and toxic masculinity throughout.

It’s exemplary of the sort of raucous aggression, swamped in a sharp melodic sensibility, that has gone AWOL from the mainstream.

Alongside the pumping, unruly offerings Blinded By The Lies and lead single White Male Carnivore, there are also moments of sparkling subtlety: a twist on space-age Alex Turner on the title track, nonsense sentimentality on Encore and genuine reflection on This House Has No Living Room. There is a sense of grandeur here that adds substance to the songs, raising this effort far above other simple garage-rock revivalists.

Although apparent throughout, it is only with track six, Interlude, that a strange air of musical theatre begins to bubble over. It’s like an outtake from Jesus Christ Superstar as performed by Nick Cave, and rewritten to take the perspective of a forgotten 13th disciple who lost his way, drank too much and was silenced for his sneering critiques of the conceited saviour. It’s bizarre, excellent stuff.

Somewhere, out on one the moons of Jupiter, lies a dingy basement bar waiting for the wide-eyed, psychedelic wig-outs on offer here.

YAK Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri March 29 2019 - BIRMINGHAM Castle and Falcon
Sat March 30 2019 - NORWICH Arts Centre
Mon April 01 2019 - CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach
Tue April 02 2019 - OXFORD O2 Academy Oxford
Wed April 03 2019 - LONDON Dome
Fri April 05 2019 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Sat April 06 2019 - NOTTINGHAM Bodega Social
Mon April 08 2019 - LIVERPOOL Arts Club
Tue April 09 2019 - MANCHESTER YES (Pink Room)
Wed April 10 2019 - HULL Polar Bear
Thu April 11 2019 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Cluny 2
Fri April 12 2019 - GLASGOW King Tut's
Sat April 13 2019 - DUBLIN Whelan's

Click here to compare & buy YAK Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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