Saturday 30 December 2017

Somali Yacht Club - The Sea (Album Review)

Release date: January 22nd 2018. Label: RobustFellow Prod (CD) / Kozmik Artifactz (Vinyl). Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

The Sea – Tracklisting

1. Vero
2. Religion Of Man
3. Blood Leave A Trail
4. Hydrophobia
5. 84 Days
6. Crows


Mez - guitar, vocals
Artur - bass
Lesyk - drums


Somali Yacht Club (SYC) returns with their eagerly awaited second album – The Sea. The Sea has the band in a more reflective and adventurous mood with the band exploring different sounds that reminds me of ISIS (The Band) in their prime. The Sea is very different to their celebrated debut album. As the more psychedelic Stoner/Post-Rock parts have been replaced by a more distinctive Doom/Post-Metal feel.

Opening track – Vero – opens with a long instrumental sound that sees the band blend Post-Rock, Doom, Psych and heavy Stoner riffs. The song is perhaps one of the most progressive songs that the band has written to date. The vocals from Mez appear around the fourth minute and it offers a sense of calm before the music starts to drift into doomier waters. The psychedelic post-rock/post-metal vibes do have a familiar vibe around them. SYC inject a more soothing experimental vibe that allows the music to flow naturally. The lyrics are very surreal at times with the band focusing more on musical progression and heavy melodic cinematic sounds.

Second track – Religion Of Man – return to their familiar shoegaze/post-rock ways. The vocals from Mez are calm and confident throughout. The lyrics match the overall nautical theme of the album. The song may start very quietly but it doesn’t end that way. As SYC move into heavier Stoner/Post-Metal territory with the song becoming more personal to the band. With this song lasting twelve minutes, SYC have a lot of ground to cover with the many different elements of music being played. This song is perhaps one of the best tracks on the album. As it’s very cinematic in scope with the band creating huge sounds that leave you wanting more.

Third track - Blood Leave A Trail – could have easily come from their last album. As it has a familiar sound for the opening moments before SYC bring their new found progressive Stoner/Post-Metal sound back to the forefront of the album. It has quite an alternative rock/metal feel to it as well. The success of the song rests on Somali Yacht Club’s superb ability to play the LOUD riffs against the more subtle Post-Rock QUIET moments. With the band adopting a shorter running time for this track, they could have easily ran out of ideas but to their credit, the whole mood of the album becomes even stronger as a result.

The final three songs – Hydrophobia, 84 Days and Crows capture the same beautifully heavy moments heard on the first half of the album. Though Somali Yacht Club still manages to experiment with their sound and create some haunting gloomy post-metal vibes that interact superbly well with the familiar Psychedelic Stoner Rock/Metal riffs the band is known for. Hydrophobia is most definitely a highlight. As the song starts off as a conventional instrumental post-rock/doom metal track before the band switch gears and make it a hard-rocking Stoner Metal number that can be considered as “head-banging” material.

The overall sound of The Sea is very diverse from the start. Somali Yacht Club is a very hard band to pigeon-hole and I think that’s the point with this album. The Sea is a challenging and complex album with many different themes and ideas that may take time to fully understand and perhaps even admire. The production is intense with the overall sound of the album being very loud and dynamic.

The Sea is a thrilling and beautifully made album from Somali Yacht Club. This is the type of album that could see the band perform or even headline on the more prestigious Doom/Stoner Metal festivals held around the world. Don’t be surprised if you see this album on a few best albums of the year lists in 2018 including my own.

Words by Steve Howe

The Sea will be available to buy on CD/DD via RobustFellow Prods and Vinyl via Kozmik Artifactz from January 22nd 2018.