Express & Star

Birmingham's Y!kes, Everything Pointless Is Correct (Ep!c) - EP review

Sometimes a throwback comes around that nails a feeling or atmosphere from another time in the musical spectrum perfectly.

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The EP artwork for Y!kes's Everything Pointless Is Correct (Ep!c)

We're not sure how old the members of Birmingham's Y!kes were during the guitar heyday of the mid-90s. But close your eyes while listening to this and you could be reliving the great American grunge invasion all over again.

There are some who don't like throwbacks. They would rather "hear something new and unique". More fool them. If they want to miss out on the likes of Y!kes, Big Jesus and Superheaven then leave them to it.

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This debut EP is Fun - with the 'F' capitalised, bolded and probably written with the kind of elaborate swirls and flicks usually reserved for monastic scrolls from the Middle Ages.

But it's not all retro. They sprinkle their own ideas too.

If anything the opener Chekhov's Gun is probably the weakest of the five tracks with its slightly muddled and confused cacophony of sounds throughout that become a bit abrasive the more the track continues.

But get past that, and wow. This is great fun. Repeat The Objective with its huge riffs and explosive percussion is prime Turbowolf and will be an absolute rumpus when performed on stage. It's so easy to enjoy the laid back vocals from Oli Long as he half walks, half horizontally glides over the music below him. He at times on this EP sounds a little Liam Gallagher, a little Black Francis and a little Chris Georgiadis. And the retro feelings his voice evokes are most welcome.

The Pixies vibes that come from his Francis-esque delivery are most prevalent in the scratchy chorus on Hiding In Plain Sight. It's gruff and gravelly in equal measure and is deliciously danceable to. Well, flying limbs and strained necks as fans screech along anyway.

The new line-up for Birmingham's Y!kes

Spitfire Salutes is more technically intricate than some of the others with guitars from Liam Howard that dance and jive along while Long does his Gallagher impression.

The thunderous Hold On To Your Grudge is angry and agitated in equal measure, and is probably where drummer TJ Weston and Matt Ford on bass are allowed to have the most fun with their rhythm section. The song roars like a supercharged engine under their bonnet as a result.

This is one to listen to right away.

Rating: 8/10

The EP is available to hear on Yikes's Spotify page right now, and for more on Y!kes, follow them on Facebook @yikesofficial and Twitter @yikes_theband. They support King Nun tonight, February 25, at The Sunflower Lounge, and tickets are still available for £8.80 from SeeTickets. They will also appear as part of the Birmingham Music Awards showcase event with BBC Introducing at Mama Roux's in Digbeth on Thursday, February 27. Tickets are available from the awards organisers' website.