Erupting from the speakers with volcanic force of lusty distortion, the sound rippling from Y!KES’ MASS!VE EP can be best described as the seductive, grungey lovechild of Nirvana and Pixies.
Despite only forming last year, Y!KES have rapidly climbed the ladder to stardom with their name spreading like wildfire. With stimulating energy flowing within the music, it’s hard not to be infected with an alluring impulse to delve deep into the EP’s music.
Igniting the EP with ‘Pirouette’, the gritty pace of the EP makes itself known through an impactful introduction and a jarring vocal melody that leads the verse. The choruses of the track definitely have a jumpy, gig-suited groove to them just tailored for hurtling amongst other crowd members. The tones and effects utilised in the track complement each other well- with the track being heavily distorted the instrumental layers blend nicely together but can still be differentiated without becoming lost in the mix.
Proceeding the opening track, we’re met with ‘Alice’ which explores a darker, doomier sound than the prior track. The chordal structure and playing patterns in the track seem to have an influence of heavy metal more than grunge. The vocal textures fluctuate between a natural stance to a forceful, gritty sounding cry, resonating with the angst deep inside us all.
Third in the EP listing is ‘Doorframe Angel’. The track has the heaviest intro so far, with a chunky distorted guitar riff and authoritative drumbeats, the music sets a more forceful edge for itself. Incorporating half-time build ups, the drops in the choruses are made to feel even more impressive. Synths follow the tracks heavier guitar riffs and give its texture a static-feeling contrast within its mix. ‘Doorframe Angel’ definitely sticks itself out as an EP highlight- both the music and the sheer passion coming from the band is not only infectious but also feels very true to the band.
‘Faker’ introduces itself with a laxer opening, only featuring vocals and an accompanying guitar riff which builds itself up throughout its first half. When the track reaches the apex of its busyness, it still isn’t as rowdy as the prior tracklisting, allowing the EP to take a breather after the heaviness of ‘Doorframe Angel’. The track itself still channels the EPs energy but definitely feels like more of a filler compared to the rest of the EP.
Closing the EP is ‘Step Away’. The atmosphere is slightly shifted in the ultimate track, following a more pop-like structure and chord patterns. The song definitely has a higher level of commercial accessibility to it which will benefit the band in reaching a larger audience with the track. Despite it having a slightly different sound to the rest of the EP, its poppy elements do have a level of catchiness to them and engraves their way deep into your head.
MASS!VE has shown Y!KES’ unique style tailor itself around passion, adrenaline and power. The energy radiated from the EP is refreshing as there’s nothing pseudo around it – its genuine, it’s fierce and simply sounds incredible.