You may recall that in my recent Los Campesinos! interview [link], Gareth rattled off a few names of bands we should be looking into in Cardiff. One of those bands was Yossarian, another bunch of Welsh-but-not-Welsh whipper snappers beginning to cause a storm in the blogging world.
A rather nice bunch too, it seems. They send you a lovely demo cd with proper artwork and packaging (although the cd itself was a bit ugly!) if you simply ask nicely. But more of that later. The lads formed sometime in late 2003 when they were all bored students, eventually named themselves after the Catch 22 character and have even received some A&R interest from Rough Trade and Fierce Panda. God, we're behind.
The demo is fantastic - exhibiting their charming, witty lyrics, the ability to carry slower moving songs and the usual bouncy poppier numbers while still managing to show off an experimental element to their sound. Influences such as Pavement and The Arcade Fire seep through the demo but their lyrics have an innate Britishness to them. The lyrics are similar to those of The Rakes in their simplistic, write-about-what-you-see-and-do nature but therein lies their beauty.
Titbits like "Do you fancy a cup of tea? Fuck, we’ve got no milk. Ben, do you fancy going down the shop? No? You’re lactose intolerant? Fuck it, I can't be arsed", "Bit of Grandstand...oh no, not fucking horse racing! Give me some football...now" and "I think I have escaped a hangover, I am invicible" all come from just track two, 'Invicible'. Brilliant. Opener 'Indie Disco' is also a witty tale, this time about playing it cool at a club night. I can totally relate. While the first two tracks are more lighthearted, the end of the demo has 2 almost ballady tracks about loved ones. 'Settled' ends the demo in a wonderful Arcade Fire type crescendo. Bravo.
Yossarian - 2. Invicible
I also noticed some of their earlier stuff is available on their website and decided to give it a listen retrospectively, having had their demo on heavy repeat over the past week. The tracks I listened to sound much darker, almost Joy Division style but still retaining the same experimentalism that appears on the demo.
Yossarian - In Uniform
Yossarian - All In My Life
Download other older tracks on their website [link] and their whole demo on their MySpace [link].