Earlier this year Y!kes put out their debut EP EP!C (Everything Pointless Is Correct) to a generally positive response (you can read a few of those positive words here). After presumably spending a bunch of time in the studio during the Summer of COVID they’re getting set to release a new EP – Mass!ve – at the end of August, and in front of that we get the single “Pirouette.”
The two things that hit me the most on EP!C were Y!kes’ capacity for a varied song approach and their fantastic guitar tone – “Pirouette” picks up on both and keeps running. Liam Howard’s main riff has more than a touch of Hillel Slovak in it, a point emphasized by the jerky single-note line of the verses; the pre-chorus and chorus move back towards more familiar screamo/emo territory but stay rich and full. Oli Long’s vocals slide easily from conversational through a Corgan-esque nasal sneer to full scream, emotion and energy clearly the things he prefers to put forward. I especially like some of the double-bass flourishes that dot “Pirouette;” they’re like little half-second spot fills, but don’t shift your attention too far into the drumming. (Apologies to Matt Ford; bass playing in a rock song can be hard to call out, because if it’s competent it’s usually the framework on which everything else hangs.)
It’s interesting to see an obvious evolution from Y!kes in so short a time. EP!C isn’t even six months old yet “Pirouette” promises an ability to go off into tangents the EP barely hinted at; with what’s on display here Y!kes have the potential to put together something that sits clearly apart from their peers. Thankfully we only have a couple of weeks until we find out.