The FREQUENCY-IRELAND Music Alternative

An independent voice on choice sounds from the alternative/underground music scene in Ireland.
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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Two Yukinas

Unmistakable for the deep gravel voice of front man Stuart Doyle these days, Yukina are a Dublin 3-piece band whose recent material appeals at times to a side of me that likes bands such as Motorhead. It's an unsophisticated rock n'roll played out loud, rough and rugged. There is also quite a lot of blues influence in their song writing, but Yukina and their "We're doing our thing, we keep it simple, we play rock 'n' roll" attitude is gradually winning me over regardless. They are now in the process of recording a debut album, several tracks from which can be downloaded from their sonicbids and myspace pages, with "Tongue Twister" and "Gotta Go" the two that rock out most appealingly for me. However, that is just one half of the Yukina story...

Back in 2002, an earlier incarnation of Yukina self-released an album titled "Comin' Around". It had an altogether different sound; the vocals were far less gravel, the sound a lot more indie-experimental, and listening to tracks from it, it is difficult to consider the two Yukinas as one and the same band.

The 2002 album was a very low profile release, selling just 149 copies at that time, with proceeds going on paying off 3 months back-rent, according to their myspace profile. They now refer to that album as 'a cardboard box album' and an 'an experiment in lousy recording practices', but sometimes interesting albums fall out of the most unusual of situations, and such seems to be the case with this one. They've a separate myspace page where tracks from that album can be downloaded, of which 'Las Elvis' is a rather brilliantly shambolic piece of tripped out indie-rock, held together by a rumbling bass hook and overlaid with odd scratches and samples. The downbeat alt-rock of 'Singo' is my favourite of the Yukina tracks here however; it has a despondency that seems unforced, almost effortless in getting the mood across, one of those songs where although there's nothing particularly strong about individual lyrics, they paint up the mood perfectly as a whole. Also worthy of attention though is a husky ballad in 'Timerbline' which has a vocal strikingly similar to that of Leonard Cohen, and in short, this 'cardboard box album' seems to have been a lot more varied and interesting than the paltry sale of 149 copies would suggest, regardless of its wayward production, and easy to see why it was well received amongst the small audience it had reached.

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