Yr Poetry’s new mini-album, Rocket Season, is an explosive follow up to 2014’s No Tribes EP, and is easily the best DIY UK release this year. Yr Poetry is a conglomeration of Yr Friends and Fridge Poetry, Johnny Foreigner side-projects belonging to Alexei and Junior respectively. In their interview and stream on Goldflake Tapes, the band stated that the record was written and recorded in the space of just one weekend, a fact that only highlights the undeniable musicianship and talent of all members involved. Much of Johnny Foreigner now feels somewhat dated, harking back to their 2008 hey-days with breakneck beats and complicated guitars. Rocket Season is certainly more straightforward than some of the Johnny Foreigner catalogue, and this is no bad thing. Yr Poetry takes a refreshing step in a more direct musical direction, but still retains what I love about JoFo: inescapable, noisy, and powerful emotion.
Opening track “Don’t Call Me Shirley” leads with an almost post-hardcore beat, and to me echoes a Touché Amoré-esque style. The lyrical emotion of this record is immediate and as hard-hitting as the drums; “I stared down into shallow waters through wooden slats, this pier will not collapse. Those words will sink us both.” This track certainly sets the tone of the album. Song two, “Shamonic Youth” is the second Sonic Youth reference made by the band alongside the “Yr” in their name, and this influence is clear to see. The guitars scream and shudder under string bends and through explosive feedback, while the bass and drums set a driving pace. While the track is only two minutes long, it assaults the senses in the most positive way.
“We Are Not The Champions” and album closer “Sleepwalker” bring the pace back down, and, perhaps also due to the lo-fi recording style, showcase a more emo side to the record. The lamenting-yet-twiddly guitar lines of the former coupled with swelling crescendos and crooning lyrical style of the latter certainly point me in that direction. Yet to be clear, this is NOT and emo record, but rather a DIY punk firecracker. The fourth track, “I’ll Neg You, I’ll Neg You All” is good, don’t get me wrong, but its repetitive structure and simplistic nature means it doesn’t really add anything new to the album, and thus gets a bit lost amongst the more memorable songs. My favourite track of Rocket Season has got to be “Holly PTL”. The dissonant guitars, über catchy lyrics and dancey drums make this song a certified banger. Listen to that song if nothing else on the record, because it’s the best use of one minute and forty seconds I can currently think of.
Yr Poetry’s Rocket Season is a blast (I’m so sorry, I could resist) to listen to, and I really hope that the members choose to pursue this project further, because I can’t wait to hear more. Read our interview and watch our sessions with Alexei here.
FFO: Cøllege, Touche Amoré, Sonic Youth, and Johnny Foreigner, (obviously).