Ever wondered what would happen if a band sat down to the mixing desk wielding a glue stick and excessive ambition? Then look no further than Yashin’s ‘The Renegades’.
Without cohesion, a record simply falls at the first hurdle. Enthusiasm for a wide spectrum of styles falls short of creativity when it comes to their fourth full-length, cramming in a cacophony of influences to leave a bitter taste that lasts longer than that fated FRONT magazine venture.
From the haphazard opener ‘Spreading The Disease’, it appears they haven’t decided whether to be Suicide Silence or Memphis May Fire. The inconsistent melodies and vocal patterns seem more content in producing a mindfuck than a talented musical endeavour. Try tapping your toes along with the rhythms and you’ll see.
“This is the beginning of the end,” unclean vox Kevin Miles screams with all his might, while clean frontman Harry Radford throws in the occasional saccharine pop punk “woo” for effect – combined with the vexing guitar backing, it’s as if they’re sampling far too many styles in one go. A genuine rap attempt through ‘Dorothy Gale’ fails spectacularly and rears its ugly head again amid ‘Dead Spells’, casting aside a rather gorgeous intro solo.
‘D.E.A.D.’, a melodic fool-proof spelling guide that really teaches Slade a thing or two, provides punchy electric energy right up until a cringe-worthy soundbite instructs the listener to “now lose your shit.” The moment your faith in their talent reappears, it’s struck down again by their faultless ability to try too hard. Rather than playing their cards close to their chests, they’re playing all their cards in one go.
The message of solidarity of the title track is possibly the most comprehensible of the lot, spoiled straight away by the overbearing drums and numerous conflicting tempos of ‘Vultures’. ‘Stockholm Sinner’ swiftly steals any form of sentiment with its chaotic structure while ‘Play Me’ jerks from melodic cleans to screams in such a rushed fashion as if cooperation isn’t a term in their dictionary. Thank heavens for the reflective closer ‘Circle the Sun’ which beautifully showcases Radford’s range the way it should have from the start.
It would be easy to blame this incoherence on frontman Harry Radford as the flagbearer, but there’s no doubt his vocals are good on their own merit. ‘The Renegades’ would have been a decent album if they’d just stop faffing around with too many facets per song, at least that way Harry’s polarising presence wouldn’t need justification.
‘The Renegades’ by Yashin is out now on Another Century.
Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)