Live at Milo (Upstairs) on Friday, 26th February 2016
It finally come around, the infamous Yawning Dog are back in Leeds with a launch gig for their latest tracks, 'Sponge' and 'Heads'. By goodness golly it was rather a lot of fun!
Those grunge monkeys known as Climbing Alice took to the stage first, donned in sweaty shirts and grubby hair to further complete their look. Their sound is reminiscent of the days when flicking a jazz master about a practice room was sufficient enough to fill a room with discordant guitar sounds and smokey vocals. Stocky, block rocking beats heavily accentuated by screaming, urgent vocals that in places sound like a stoned Josh Homme.
Spaced out and smashing their fuzz laden brand of sluggish thunk rock, Climbing Alice certainly know how to hold their own. To balance out the cacophony of noise, they have some popalicious tunes that sound like early Foo Fighters.
Treason Kings were next up, and as always they delivered to an exceptionally high standard. Swaggering riffs, sneaky timings and an almighty sound that always fills the room to the brim until its close to spill. They managed to include some old songs into the set, which went down a treat with the audience, even surprising new listeners to some exclusive tracks. They have an undeniable charm on stage, however don't let this fool you. The well placed 'drops' in their songs have enough to even get your gran up off the sofa and do a merry jive. The two tracks you MUST hear live are 'Mouth to Mouth' and 'Atmosphere'. Utterly mental and the delivery of the goods is so exceptional, you may forget you even ordered them in the first place.
Lastly but certainly not the least are Yawning Dog. Dressed as if he had come from a recent expedition in Canada, having obviously killed a bear and stolen it's fur for a delightful hat, Sam swans onto stage. (How he managed to not sweat his rolly collocks off is beyond me). Opening with a raucous bellow of a new tune, followed by the most pleasant of songs - 'Plastic' - was a superb way to completely lower everyone's guards into thinking that this dissonant bunch of fuzz thugs would allow the audience the chance to relax. Ho no. After a ruddy good sing along to 'Plastic', the rest of the set seemed to blur into itself, as various pedals pushed created more squealing, spooky and spiralling psych tones that seemed to creep out into the atmosphere.
At times, it seems like the vocalist channels the spirit of Mark E. Smith, mixed in with a bit of early post punk band vocalists. Great stuff. In regards to the two tracks that were being played to my virgin ears on the night - 'Sponge' and 'Heads' - I would have to say that in my humble opinion, 'Heads' is the stronger track. 'Sponge' has a hazy, stoner-y approach that may appeal to others for its shoe gaze/noise aesthetic, but 'Heads' is an ode to madness. A madness that is felt through your bones, screaming vocals from every member of the band, microphone or not, can be heard. Thundering tub thumping, maniacal guitar playing that erupts into a steaming hot piece of magma that burns the ears. Powerful stuff.
Ending the set with a few of their earlier tracks 'Sugar' and 'Ghost' (Great tune.) the band managed to remember where the seat belts were and promptly began flying about the stage, pulling in members of the audience into their orbit and ending the gig with a pile on and the most static heard since the invention of the radio. Lots of noise. Lots of fun. See you at the front, next time eh?
(Photo credit: End Of Town Art)
TREASON KINGS are a rock/alternative band from Leeds.
Wakefield indie/rock/pop trio