Before I began typing, I read several reviews of Yoko and the Oh No’s online and saw that they were compared to The Strokes more than a couple times. I don’t hear the resemblance at all.
Yoko and the Oh No’s have a sound that’s a refreshing change from most of the crap on the “indie” section of iTunes, Pandora, and the radio, but there’s a lot of “familiar” in this newness. I hear hints of heavier Stones and Kinks, and I’m reminded of that flash in the pan from about twelve back, Jet.
This band, unlike Jet, isn’t polished to a corporate friendly sheen, which is a good thing. You don’t listen to the album and hear “that song that sounds like The Stones” and “that song that sounds like AC/DC” and “that song that sounds like a Beatles ballad”. Yoko and the Oh No’s make their presence known in every track. Most of the tracks on this album have more complicated chord progressions than your average three chord wonder.
Oh yeah, and speaking of those chords… there’s something in the crunchy ring of the guitar that feels like the weird ingredient your friend’s favorite restaurant added to the fettuccine that nobody else would do, but somehow it works. A friend of mine described it as kind of a “big kahuna” sound; slightly overdriven twang with lots of reverb.
This is the kind of album you can play straight through, as none of it feels like filler material. If there’s a low point, it’s the last track, “Who’d Stop Me”, which isn’t a bad song, but it seems out-of-place stylistically when compared to the other nine songs.
Yoko and the Oh No’s remind me of walking into a bar in a strange city and hearing a really strong garage band that should be playing bigger venues. That band with a strong following, but if you mention them outside their home town, nobody knows who the hell you’re talking about. Hopefully that soon will change for these guys (and this girl).
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