Peckham based 5-piece Yowl’s new EP is pitched as ‘a sniping diatribe on modern culture, veering from upbeat bouncing basslines, striking falsetto vocals and country-tinged sadness to furious, frenzied spiky alt-punk,’, and it’s already earned plaudits from the likes of Steve Lamacq on BBC 6Music, DIY, and So Young, and the band were also asked to join Working Men’s Club on tour recently (although I’m not sure if it’s the good one or the shit one, so don’t know if I should be impressed or disappointed.
The cover art leads somewhere between excessively literal and abysmal pun, and while it is, in truth, a pretty bloody awful cover, it’s got a unique and distinct shock-orientated quality that’s nothing if not memorable while also massively underselling the music it houses.
‘Sunken Boy’ begins acappella falsetto before siding down to a Morrisseyesque kitchen-sink downtempo indie. Not sold? No, so far so middling, until it erupts in a ragged blast of guitars and raw, barked vocals that’s more reminiscent of ’14 Autumns’ era Twilight Sad.
The vibe which permeates this six-tracker is exceedingly 80s, but it’s all the more interesting for the interruptions of noise and discord and bursts of energy. While delivering a monotone spoken word drawl about Tesco shopping bags and the mundane before everything goes haywire, ‘Pagan Middleman’ is an off-kilter explosion of ragged noise.
If ‘Atrophy’ sounds like the sound of a band who haven’t really found their sound, and aren’t even entirely sure how serious they intend to be taken, maybe that’s the point: Yowl sound like a band who don’t fit, and don’t want to, a band who’d rather play with and defy preconceptions and genre boundaries.