I guarantee that if you asked 5, 10…100 different people to listen to Y33BA they would all come to a different conclusion as to where this mercurial band fit in the musical canon or which generic pigeon-hole they are best posted into. But that, I guess, is the art of it, finding a way of making music that is truly unique. Everyone alludes to wanting to do it, few succeed. Y33BA is one of the few. But how do you nail their sound down in a suitable form for a music review? I’ll try…..
Let’s start with what they are not. They are not conformists that’s for sure. They don’t follow any particular generic template and they don’t really sound like anyone else. There is no classic sound being adhered to but neither do they seem driven to force music into places that it doesn’t want to go just in the name of sonic exploration.
What they are is possibly more helpful. They are groovers, writers of melodic music and genre-hoppers but they seem to find ways to put their musical building blocks together in a way that makes you wonder why no one has thought to do things this way before. Not everyone is a natural leader I suppose.
At one extreme songs such as Consolação Vignette feel like 60’s psychedelic pop built from Mercury Rev-esque dreamscape and Endless Gaze has the vibe of flitting and fluid post-punk. Dead New Romantics is built of cascades of shimmering guitars and squidgy electronica, Brit-Pop Reveries sounds like the titular 90’s musical movement being played at the wrong speed and stoned out of its tiny mind, and Loathe is an off-kilter, industrial version of Eurasure’s dance groove.
I’ve listen to the album through three times now and the songs sound different every time. Okay not so much different, more that they reveal a new side of their musical personality with every play. Some music is instantaneous, draws you in straight away and as a listener you understand it immediately, get its purpose and know why you like it. Eternities 1 isn’t that sort of record at all. It has a kaleidoscopic quality, the sounds and sonic patterns seem to shift from listen to listen and you feel as if you may never truly understand what you have in front of you, you just know that it is fun and infectious. Maybe that’s all you really need anyway.