Eclectic, experimental rock
There are very few bands out there that thrive in all genres of rock as well as Yak does, and their second album Pursuit of Momentary Happiness is a great example of that. The group, hailing from Wolverhampton, England, consists of Oliver Henry Burslem on lead vocals and guitar, Vincent Davies on bass and Elliot Rawson on drums. It’s pretty impossible to pin down exactly what type of music the group plays. Some of the album is psychedelic, some of it is more on the punk rock side of the spectrum and others are typical rock and roll. Yak are loud, creative and energetic, and their newest album is easily one of the best of the year so far.
The album begins with “Bellyache,” a song that sounds like Tame Impala meets the Arctic Monkeys. Burslem’s vocals reach various ranges, from practically speaking to a high-pitched range. The guitar riff throughout is what truly makes the song stand out, as it’s loud and wavering, sounding as if it’s coming from a distorted speaker right next to the listener’s ear. The second song is “Fried,” which is more of a punk-rock song. The vocals are nasally, the music is loud, but the song isn’t obnoxious. It’s a great throwback full of raw emotion and sound.
Arguably the best song on the album is “Words Fail Me.” This song can be labeled more as indie rock, sounding rather Edward Sharpe meets John Lennon-esque. Burslem’s vocals are melodic, and the music in the background is dreamy and serene. The lyrics seem to refer to a struggle with communication and of accepting who you are, even if that person is inside your head. “You know when you said / Maybe you are better off in your own head / Because the words are failing you / But you know that it’s all right.”
Some other notable songs on the album are “Pay Off Vs. The Struggle” and “Encore.” “Pay Off Vs. The Struggle” starts off rather techno sounding before launching into the ominous, psychedelic sound that the rest of the song undertakes. The chorus is fast paced, as “get off my back” is repeated by Burslem. It’s very different than any of the other songs on the album, and it’s chaotic, loud, but enjoyable. “Encore” is a softer song, similar to “Words Fail Me.” It has an old rock and roll love ballad feeling to it, and it’s actually a very beautiful song.
The album ends with “This House Has No Living Room.” It’s a very psychedelic song, full of abstract images of a house with “walls that are paper thin.” It’s a strange song, but a perfect way to end the album. Yak continues to show that they have no fear of experimentation and that they will continue to be a prominent rock band for a long time.