The ‘Costello’ (or perhaps Loyd Grossman), double on the guitar / keys (Fred) seemed – to all the world – as if he was urgently looking for a fight . And the gurning the bass player (Bill) seemed quite extraordinarily deranged.
So, understandably, the audience kept themselves at a safe distance from the stage.
But YEALLOW ( this quartet from Strasbourg, France) with their musicality, precision mechanics, and hard edged indie rock sounds, soon gained a cautious crowd.
With songs like ‘Blown Away’ we got a pliant funky base – with fizzy splashes of guitar chords and those characteristically bleak and even somewhat somnolent vocals that may remind you of ‘Morrissey’. These vocals tended to spiral around like mayflies in a spring breeze. Rattling good drum-work ensured things were kept chugging along in a uniform way, and the bass play kept things deeply bubbling under the surface.
With a keen ear for idiomatic key change ( wherever it can be squeezed in), and a desire for authentic craftsmanship to create their moody aural soundscapes, Yeallow were shamelessly punk most of the time- yet they really were as soft as a puppy dog’s tummy – when it came down to it.
Driving, repetitive and mechanical they may be, but they were also able to provide finely-cut pop songs with deserving choruses, at the appropriate moment. Their emotions may have been hard to decipher, but their intentions were clear – they were there to make populist rock music for the rank and file – inflected, naturellement, with a thick slice of Alsatian philosophical whimsy.
There is nothing fashionable about this band – quirky is the word. But there is something engaging and entertaining to be discovered within their relaxed Gallic off-beat charm. Check them out to see what I mean.
– © Neil_Mach July 2012 –