Track Review – Victorious (National Anthem) / Yak

Yak are one of the next wave of British rock bands that’ll more than likely get championed as the saviours of rock ‘n’ roll, but at least they’re actually playing it pretty well. Their first single for their debut albums manages to squeeze in some of their idiosyncrasies and tries to make what could be a fairly predictable rock song something with a bit of grunt. It’s impossible not to hear that tempo-change on the chorus followed by a ear-splitting guitar and bass that couldn’t get any dirtier if you dipped it in a gutter. Oliver Burslem’s vocals slip in between a Jagger drawl (unsurprising – he’s a spitting image) or a punky speak-sing.

But the predictability is still there despite their best efforts to try and deviate from tradition. The chorus is just Burslem repeating ‘Victorious’ and the structure is pinned down within two minutes leaving no time for anything other than verse-chorus-verse (which could work, but the chorus tempo change kills the momentum the verse brings). With a good set of lyrics behind Burslem, Yak might have made a really good song, but it’s going to take something better to match the heavy punk instrumentation than Burslem’s heavily-shrouded voice. Cut the effects, bring his vocals out and there might be something good here.

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