‘It's No One's Fault But Ours' by Yes PrincessReview
Many thanks to Yes Princess who have kindly reached out to us in advance of the release of their debut album ‘It's No One's Fault But Ours' which comes out on 23rd September: in fact as they are playing at Covtember at the Tin that day, their gig serves neatly as an album launch too.
That we've not previously been able to write about them is perhaps partly due to their foundation pretty much as lockdown occurred (and "Music In My Nightmares" addresses those times in some respects) from the Holy Thief earlier incarnation.
Since the band cite "..sweat, tears, breakups, screams, shouts, exits and entrances.." during the subsequent years, we can presume that they creative process was driven by the sort of dynamics which would produce outcomes which sound like this, but the survivors of this drama must have the satisfaction of knowing that it resulted in ten tracks (so excellent value) which might not have been so compelling had the journey been milder.
Entirely created, produced & released in-house by Scott (vocals & guitar), Rich (guitar), Martin (drums & backing vocals) and Dan (bass & backing vocals), the tracks are admirably varied in tone & sound. (Yet) another in our relatively recent realisation of a renaissance in louder songs locally: it too transcends mere volume to produce quality tracks, most of which they feel sound better played that way. As a reviewer, it's another noisy album where I can discern what they are addressing sufficiently well to have a stab at describing it with enough confidence that I'm vaguely heading in the right direction.
A Pixies departure point is fine by me & helps point me in that direction: they additionally factor in Trail of the Dead, Queens of the Stone Age and Radiohead to help steer your expectations.
Above all, and regular readers will know this already: their evident enjoyment of the thing they are doing is something which always appeals to me. Serious issues are addressed, but not in that humourless way that usually has me switching off when I have the misfortune to come across it. Lack of compromise, humanity, joy in playing, intelligence and breadth of vision are all themes I find myself repeatedly returning to in trying to articulate my reasons for liking music I am reviewing & I've found all these present on ‘It's No One's Fault But Ours'.
For the permanent record, the tracks are "Music In My Nightmares" which got a mention earlier, "Cuticles" (my first for hearing a track of that name), "Weapons", "Sleepwalking", "Choices", "Red Dreams", "Conversation", "Erupt", "Awful-Wonderful" & "Does It Feel Like You've Won".
The sounds range from a sort of warped folk-rock ("Awful-Wonderful") to the surprisingly delicate (considering how they self describe) symphonic sound of "Choices" or "Sleepwalking" through a number of much more jagged & spiky tracks ("Weapons", "Cuticle" ), epic scaling ("Does It Feel Like You've Won") to outright catchy numbers like the almost pop-grunge-punk of "Conversation" or "Music In My Nightmares" (single material?) or the unhinged "Red Dreams". "Erupt" manages to touch several of these bases at various points of its duration.
Since subject matters range from taking pot shots at the hypocritical to self confessed personal paranoia via most of the rest of the experiences of life it's not inappropriate that the sounds offer parallel diversity.
To be honest, having played the album a number of times, either the band are being modest over the scope of what they've achieved or have decided to keep a light touch regarding telling you about it in advance so that you go out, buy it, play it & form your own opinions. This seems right & proper and although I've obviously praised it above, as with any music, your own responses are ultimately what count: not what I've told you about mine.
So there you have it: a thoughtful set of songs to launch the band before the world: a great showcase of their range of vision and capacity not just to articulate it but deliver it with adept & tasteful playing: they refer to themselves as "Noise-niks" and yes, they can conjure up an alluring racket, but there is so very much more on ‘It's No One's Fault But Ours': have a peek behind their veil of modesty next month & see for yourselves.