‘are you allowed to do this?’ – joe murray on yol

November 27, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Yol – Headless Chicken Shits out Skull Shaped Egg (self-released CD-R or download)

Yol – Extraction  (self-released CD-R or download)

yol - headless chickenyol - extraction

The most singular artist in the No Audience Underground right now – Yol – is making the music of his troubled soul sing like shaven angels wearing round-shouldered donkey jackets.

For the uninitiated Yol has carefully and modestly created his own footnote in the frantic world of kinetic poetry.  Imagine tiny fragile words battered with broken bottles.  Innocent syllables and posh sibilance swashes getting clotted and clumped together.  Those classy phonics all chopped up and smashed; ground out like spent fags and stuttered wetly in a barely controlled rage (NOTE: howls of despair and anguish…impotent shrieks of denial punctuate Yol’s feverish work like Big Star’s drum fills).

Musical accompaniment is of the most primitive and brutal kind.  Forget the chest-beating Harsh Noise dullards, this is frighteningly naked and exposed.  Short blasts of destruction come from broken machinery, sheared plastic shards, bits of old hoover and burnt cutlery.  A more dicky commentator would say recordings are made in carefully selected site specific locations.  The truth?  Yol’s breaking into empty factory units and shouting his rusty head off.

OK…that’s the pre-amble puff piece.  I’m a fan man and I’m heading into these two newish recordings with great expectations.

Headless Chicken Shits Out Skull Shaped Egg is Yol’s Tales of Topographic Oceans, his Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.  At 46 minutes it gives the time and space needed to develop a territory rich with greed, chokeholds and cheap furniture.  Oh yeah…its recorded in an empty bank.

The action is kept scrabbly like knitting needles clicking so tunes like ‘filing, endless filing’ not only sounds exactly like white-collar pointless repetition and takes me back to the days I developed funny blisters through excessive contact with the nasty plastic wallets the Crown Prosecution Service used back in the day.  ‘Operating the phones’ and ‘Lunch, discussing the commute’ (a blues and C&W number in that order) are worryingly damp with the vocal roars being some of the most violent I’ve ever heard, kicking those Black Metal chaps right in the studded codpiece.  There’s desperation to this red-raw roar that even makes Ms Lydia Lunch seem like she was faking it.

The trademark Yol moving-a-heavy-filing-cabinet-across-lino-squeal is played out on ‘Sitting in on a loan interview’ with some grim whisper to vom-yell about “your lidless eye” upping the ante, adding a touch of psychedelia to the big-wide-world  tomming.   As the album plays on I’m reminded of Idwal Fisher describing ‘Trying to wash your hands of it all’ thusly…

Are you listening to someone having a nervous breakdown or are you listening to someone recording their new album?

…which try as I might I can’t improve on.  It’s nothing short of horrifying.

After 40 minutes of bloody fingernails and tension headaches I’m expecting some sort of psychotropic climax on the final track, ‘After the crash’.  Again I’m wrong-stepped as this measured piece for baking tray, leaf crackle, hinge squeak and gentle Dictaphone mumble is a sensitive lament; a moment for quiet reflection and quite simply, beautiful…like a pale sun viewed across the misty marshes.

I know it’s crass to make comparisons but forgive me this little slip.  Listening to Headless Chicken… is  kind of like the first time I heard Usurper.  Ali & Malcy’s totally uncompromising soundworld of rattled chain-link fence (I think it was on a Psykick Dancehall compilation.  Their track called ‘Oasis Lighter.’) was so different to anything that had dripped in my ears before I didn’t ask the obvious, ‘is this music?’ question but the more paranoid, ‘are you allowed to do this?’, like some music police would capture me in the night for all this dissident listening.  Yol serves me this guilty pleasure again like chokey porridge.   Re-calibrating my dials, sharpening me shiv.

I take a breather and slap on EXTRACTION expecting more violent shaking-hell but am faced with a

                                                             l-o-n-g /

d-r-a-w-n /


piece of real life

E      xt


                                                                ract   i             on   





                s                                               i                                           c. 

Our esteemed Editor has written eloquently about extraction before.  But here Yol has raised the stakes like some Vegas card-sharp and recorded a real extractor fan going about its extracting business with the finest shimmer of feedback frosting the trembley peaks.  It’s gloriously understated.

I ride the waves of greasy flapping, “Khhhhoooorrrrr – – – – chhhhhheeeeeeeeeee” it goes, gently shifting in and out of a rhythm.  For over 15 minutes the pace is kept tantalisingly constrained, delaying the pay off until an extremely patient Yol coughs a few coughs and yells like Rollins at the end of Damaged…


“Taken out!”


Blimey.  That’s a powerful couple of discs man.  Check out Yol’s Bandcamp for a sneaky listen and to check out the funky artwork too.  And he’s up for trades so get digging under the bed for swaps.

yol bandcamp flyer

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