Yonaka turned many heads in the rock and alternative pop scenes last year with the release of their excellent ‘Heavy’ EP, a record which marked Yonaka as a band to take those genres in bold new directions, whilst having heaps of potential for mainstream success. Now the band has delivered a follow up which makes that potential more plausible than ever, with a set of four festival-ready anthems which may just be their best offerings to date.
Despite ‘Teach Me to Fight’ being slightly shorter than Yonaka’s preceding release, the band successfully distills everything that has made them great previously into these four tracks. The huge guitar riffs are as raucous and as effective as ever when contrasted against the bombastic pop choruses, while Theresa Jarvis’ fierce vocals and brilliantly unique delivery are a true highlight, as was the case on ‘Heavy’. Yet the band also evolves their sound further on this EP, injecting the tracks with new ideas to build upon their established strengths and create something truly fresh.
‘Waves’ begins with some Nine Inch Nails-esque electronic sounds, endowing the track with a more abrasive quality, yet this intensity does not come at the cost of melody. In fact, the band’s sense of melody and their ability to craft not only excellent choruses, but often equally-enjoyable verses and pre-choruses, is more evident than ever on this release. Take lead single ‘Fired Up’, perhaps the band’s most accessible cut to date. With an explosive chorus and angsty lyrics, the track makes an instant impact and is already proving incendiary in live settings, personifying everything that makes Yonaka primed for further greatness.
Unapologetically rooted in rock, yet resolutely modern and cutting-edge, Yonaka are just the kind of band that alternative music needs in 2018, perfectly managing the tricky feat of being accessible whilst maintaining their alterative credentials with a sound that is entirely their own. For rock fans with heavier tastes, Yonaka may be too pop-friendly, but for those listeners willing to embrace change and celebrate a band truly evolving the genre, ‘Teach Me to Fight’ may just prove to be one of the very best EP releases of 2018. Yonaka are almost certainly on the cusp of a real breakthrough into the mainstream, and if they continue their current trajectory, that much-deserved milestone may not be too far into their future. Don’t miss out on this one!
‘Teach Me to Fight’ is out now on Asylum Records UK