• John Van de Mergel

Sounds | Somali Yacht Club, Pulsar


Een tweede heerlijk postrocknummer van dit Oekraïnse drietal. Pulsar tikt net obver de negen minuten, gaat lekker chill van start om dan mits enkele sfeerwissels naar een climax toe te werken. Kortom: post rock van de bovenste plank.


The Space verschijnt op 22 april via Season Of Mist


Luister ook naar: Silver


Lees


Somali Yacht Club is a moniker designed to represent dichotomy and variance. Named after the real-life pirates who attack vessels off the Somalian coast and the peaceful leisure of those with time to kill and money to burn, After over a decade of mesmerizing audiences in their Ukrainian home base and Eastern Europe, Somali Yacht Club inked a deal with Season of Mist in 2021 to reissue their back catalogue and release their third full-length, The Space.


The band’s story began in 2010 when guitarist/vocalist Ihor sent drummer Lesyk a random message on a Ukrainian musician’s forum to play a hybrid of math rock, post-hardcore, stoner and post-metal. Intrigued, Lesyk called bassist Artur to create the band’s first (and only) lineup. The initial jam sessions went so well that the trio decided to move forward on a permanent basis. Relying on albums such as Moccasin’s The Last Leaf, Ahkmed’s early EPs, Mars Red Sky’s self-titled, the entire Sungrazer discography and the legendary Isis duo of Oceanic and Panopticon, as well as Down, Electric Wizard, Queens of the Stone Age and now-labelmates Weedeater, the Somali Yacht Club sound was formulated.


“It was a very naive and simple time,” comments the band. “Ihor, as always, was full of energy and it was not enough for him for the bands in which he played at the time. We just started to jam and found the blend that fits all of us. Also, we always loved bands and particular songs that are eclectic — we get a lot of inspiration from such things. They are fun to play and hopefully fun to listen to.”


However broad and varied their influences may be, Somali Yacht Club started to forge their own path via their self-released 2011 Sandsongs and 2013 Desert Walls EP. The pair laid the groundwork for their formidable full-length debut, The Sun, which channeled spaced-out, psychedelic jams with churning stoner doom metal. Their amalgamation of all-things stoner continued through the 2015 Sun’s Eyes EP and 2018 The Sea full-length, the latter noted by The Sludgelord that it “succeeds in taking the listener on that well-known ride of warm tones and meandering melodies” and MetalStorm.net stating, “Somali Yacht Club offers up a fresh spin on a rich but well-explored genre and in doing so deliver one of the early highlights of 2018.”


The new year brings forth The Space. The album was tracked at various points throughout 2021 at Jenny Records near Lviv, Ukraine, with mixing and mastering courtesy of Yaroslav Tseluiko at Jaro Sound in the Czech Republic. The cover depicts a supernova and was handled by Dasha Pliska, who was also responsible for The Sun and The Sea artwork. The Space also completes the trilogy that began with The Sun and The Sea, but, according to the band, there is no unifying theme.


“It’s a bit hard to tell a real story in our music because, let’s be honest — it’s still more instrumental-focused. The Space is very loosely connected to a single concept as it has even more abstract and personal lyrical themes. Also, the song ‘Pulsar’ was the first written and named song for this album, so it set a path for the title.”


The Space finds Somali Yacht Club now in full expanse of their sonic elements, delivering six cuts of atmospheric post-rock/metal with dashes of melancholy and introspection. Ihor’s relaxed, if not smooth delivery runs parallel to his driving, fuzzed-out riffs that are dotted with traces of melody. The rhythm section of Artur and Lesyk is the undisputed anchor, maintaining a careful ebb and flow that embellishes songs that demand room to breathe and require texture and thoughtfulness — notably the 12-minute-plus closer, “Momentum,” which features one of the band’s finest jams to date. Such numbers resulted from Somali Yacht Club’s regular practice sessions that bore more than enough new material.


“We wrote The Space pretty much the same way as the previous two,” says the band. “We brought an idea or a riff to rehearsal, play and jam it a lot of times to see if it doesn’t go stale, record demos, listen, think, re-think, change everything and so on. This time we went to the studio with more than enough material — some even didn’t get a proper recording as we understood it needed even more time to mature and be reconsidered. Some ideas became an outtake; some songs were created right in the studio.”


Like their name serving a dual purpose, so does Somali Yacht Club’s output on The Space. The album contains a regular balancing act between heaviness and soft, clean guitar moments that will placeSomali Yacht Club into the echelons of bands who have previously mastered the timeless art of dynamics. The Space is the perfect elixir in a time rife with uncertainty, menace and chaos. Alas, the new age of stoner has arrived.


Line-up:

Ihor - guitar, vocals, keys

Artur - bass

Oleksa - drums

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