Viola Beach’s name will always be synonymous with tragedy, but at least now we have a document of who this band were
Live review: Yeasayer
Heaven, London, Tuesday, February 23
of the time this works reasonably effectively: if I say I like ‘indie’ you can guess my tastes might span the gamut from Test Icicles to Talking Heads, but I’m probably not referring to JLS. Yet sometimes this system falters and tags become redundant. Don’t be tempted to tie tonight’s dual freight-train of Javelin and Yeasayer to the same tracks, Brooklyn-bred wagon-buddies playing synth-psych disco. Turning the oddly fragmented natures of these two bands into something simple and recognisable would be to miss the effects that they actually cause on impact: sonic fission that opens a wormhole in the timeline of trends and confounds the boundaries of the pop pigeonholing we’re used to.
As post-ironic apostles of escapism, Javelin are 30 years of material culture having snowballed forth from the ’80s heyday of synth, and combusting in your face. You can only swallow the guilt that comes with loving their deadpan discotopia – and hope the world ends before anyone finds out.
Yeasayer’s staging of ‘Odd Blood’’s foreign familiarity – the least expected and most oddly executed ‘crossover’ of the year so far – begins with the slow delivery of understated album opener ‘The Children’. Trust these awkward buggers to open with confusion. Like gameshow host and contestant, Chris Keating turns out in his Sunday best and Anand Wilder’s in a camo jumpsuit, yet neither Chris’ evangelical charm or Anand’s gospel wail form the basis of any gig you might have predicted. No need to try and understand too hard, though – they sound great, with dance-friendly new tunes such as ‘ONE’ juxtaposing in a deliciously weird way against older missives from ‘All Hour Cymbals’. Rather than too much of a good thing, it’s almost too much of lots of different good things; there’s no consistent way to respond to this onslaught of baffling brilliance.
A triumphant ‘Ambling Alp’ represents the peak of what turns out to be a learning curve – Yeasayer’s secret is that if you try to pin them down, you can’t help but let them get away.
It’s essentially just a slick remix of Finding Nemo, but Finding Dory’s emotional moments will definitely hook you in
Ethan Hawke toots the horn for Chet Baker in this not-quite-a-biopic that takes jazzy liberties with the truth
Gucci Mane’s first album since leaving prison is a riot of big-hitting confessionals, plus Kanye and Drake guest spots
A heroic blend of radio-friendly guitar pop and bristling disco from the Stockport five-piece named after a pub