Yr Poetry, Alexei and Junior from Johnny Foreigner’s pop-punk side project, have just released their new EP ‘Rocket Season’ over on Bandcamp. Available as a download or limited edition, handmade CD, it finds the duo in fine form.
Opening with the Airplane-referencing ‘don’t call me Shirley’, its six tracks are full of riffs, hooks and melodic moments – wrapped in a heavier, Fugazi-esque wall of guitar and drums. As soon as the guitars come crashing in, this opening track will grab you, especially as the lyrics appear to be more subdued ‘Those words will sink us both’ and ‘That boy still gets you’. ‘Shamonic Youth’ follows and is more in the vein of the group’s main band – especially the early EPs and first album. However, there is more vocal interplay between Alexei’s higher-pitched yelps and Junior’s deeper tones. A sonic assault on the eardrums that appears to have had the band jacked up high on E numbers, it features the definitive line ‘You can’t blame your friends for where you end’.
Reference points throughout the EP would be Weezer, Desaparecidos and Fugazi but there’s also a surprisingly singalong quality to ‘we are not the champions’. Starting in slower fashion than any of the tracks that have come before, it’s the kind of song you could have imagined being played in the background of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when the gang were hanging out at the Bronze. With its distorted tones, there’s a sincerity in Alexei’s voice when he warns ‘don’t go spending that Christmas bonus just yet’ and then ‘I’d advise you to save yourself’, before going on to confirm, with a glint of that We are not the champions and this is not the end’.
‘If you listen to the rock music, you get sick’ is one of the key lyrics (and maybe themes on the entire EP?) on the Tubelord-inspired ‘Holly PTC’ that clocks in at just one minute and 41 seconds. This is followed by EP closer ‘Sleepwalker’, a song that starts with what appears to be a big ending before being stripped back to a more hazy and choral sound and then reverting to the louder, crashing sound. An EP full of passion, ‘Rocket Season’ is a hell of a blast.