Startlingly new to the scene, Bristol’s Yonaka have hit the ground running; over a few short years, the quartet have released two extended plays and been a welcome addition to Bring Me The Horizon‘s headline tour last year.
Written, recorded and self-produced by the band in a month, ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’ is a blistering debut that is fully realised and confident in its own skin.
Opening with ‘Bad Company’, the group offer spinning guitars, strong vocal hooks, and bursts of distortion to create a melodic and howling mission statement. With each member moving around one other, the track opens pockets of melody unexpectedly.
Adding a bounce to their cinematic soundscape, ‘Lose Our Heads’ works with Theresa Jarvis‘ falsetto in snappy bursts before a thunderous chorus dominates the track. Driven by Robert Mason‘s attacking snares, the song drives its way towards its melodically dense climax.
As the record progresses, it becomes apparent that the group utilises Jarvis‘ tone to blend its transitions together. With tracks such as ‘Awake’ using backing vocals as an additional instrument, and ‘Guilty (For Your Love)’ giving space for vocal pauses, the album crams as many hooks as it feasibly can into its runtime.
Galloping through each track with confidence, guitarist George Edwards forces harmony into the record. From locking into the vocal refrain of ‘Creature’, a cut that shimmers and bites at the same time, or adding a strut to the swagger of ‘Rockstar’, he gives a definite edge to the group’s dark pop. The same can be said for bassist Alex Crosby, as tracks such as ‘Punch Bag’ are projected due to the dirty and slithering bass line that runs through it.
Taking things down a notch, the titular track uses delayed notes, broken palm-muting, and a sparse piano bridge to deliver a powerful and intimate message to their fanbase. Restrained yet energetic, the track shows both sides to a record that won’t give up.
From the ambitious ‘Fired Up’ to the stomping finale of ‘The Cure’, ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’ doesn’t drop in quality, nor does it rely on misplaced ballads or short instrumentals to pad out its runtime.
With an exhilarating debut behind them and a determination to push themselves further, Yonaka have just begun to build towards bigger audiences and soundscapes. Whilst some groups fail to follow up on a strong debut album, based on the scope displayed here, you expect Yonaka to be on bigger stages soon.
A short guy, loves all genres, still believes it’s 2005. Watches too much TV.