Photos from YAK’s Instagram, taken by: Lucy McLachlan
Manchester Moshes For YAK
Written by: Olivia Kenny
The gritty riffs of Yak provoke undeniable energy, their sound is fuelled by rumbling basslines, fierce drum beats and fronted by a raw vocal.
Earlier this year the London based trio launched their second album Pursuit of Momentary Happiness. This album feels more experimental than the last, the songs aren’t so in-your-face, but a powerful rock element does still fuel the music. The album perfectly sums the band up with warped tones and truly impactful moments; interspersed with old-style rock ballads and seemingly obscure calls to “He’s Got the Whole Wide World in His Hands,” but sang with an untamed power, which just makes it work.
Yak walked on stage at Yes to electronic oscillations, the anticipation in the venue was building and the crowd were eager for what was to come. They opened with “Heavens Above,” the electrifying riffs instantly captured the audience and a buzz rippled through the atmosphere. The band are original–on stage they had a megaphone, which frontman Oliver Burslem would sing into, creating a crackly, broadcast-like tone and adding a certain appealing roughness to their lyrics. The music incorporates post-punk elements, with touches of 1970s psych and an animalistic backbone, brought by the ferocious drumming and brooding riffs.
The atmosphere in the Manchester venue was very punk-esque, ferocious and rebellious. The band didn’t stop moving for the whole gig, their enthusiasm was contagious, and the audience didn’t stop moving either—turning the front half of the venue into a very encouraged mosh pit that Burslem couldn’t help but jump into himself.
The set went on to feature tracks from the band’s latest album, tracks “Bellyache” and “Fried” had the audience moving and singing along to every word, adding detailed layers to the dynamic set. Tracks from their debut album “Alas, Salvation” were also featured, “Smile” is one that stood out for me with twangy strums and dark undertones, which sound slightly western, and track “Victorious” brings blistering riffs backed by intense, pounding beats, the heavier sounds encouraged the audience to let the music take over and the entire venue was drawn in—an extra level of energy to the already wild set.
The night was closed with “Hungry Heart,” the anthem track opens with roaring riffs and an infectious fast pace. The floor at Yes was bouncing and the high-octane hit perfectly closed the lively gig.
Don’t miss Yak, supporting Foals on their upcoming tourreview / yak