The Yallas Yallas third album is quite unique, it seems to have two very different yet not entirely conflicting styles. The first song I had heard from the album was “Sound of the Kraken”, a reasonably solid old school punk style song with a hooky sing-along chorus and simple yet endearing lyrics about unity, and assumed the rest of the album would be more of the same straight classic punk. I was wrong.
The album opens with “Mi Corazon pt. 1”, a Latin influenced love song where the lead singer croons while beautiful acoustic melodies play. This is not the only example of this style on the album as there is also “Mandeira” and “Mi Corazon pt. 2” which are track 6 and the final track (12) respectively. It is these songs that give small respites from the more classic punk tunes, which is a great thing as, to be honest, the other songs could grow a little wearing over time.
Not to say all of the punk songs on the album are bad. “Venus and the horse” mixes spoken word style vocal rhythms into the mix and lyrically feels like a free flowing train of thought that carries a lot of wit, charm and personality. “Co-exist” is probably the song with the most attitude on the album, as singer Rob Galloway promotes unity again, this time specifically around the topics of immigration and refugees.
The biggest issue I have with the album is that lyrically it just doesn’t hit quite hard enough. Because the songs are structurally very simple and generally lack variation, the lyrics need to be the reason I come back. Although there is some decent discussion on some very current topics (such as Theresa May and Donald Trump in the song “Mental”), it doesn’t really come together to give me the rebellious anthem I was hoping for.
The best songs on the album are those where the folk and classic punk styles are mixed, on tracks “Medusa” and “County Court”. The stylistic blend is seamless, and adds a lot more character to the album, the hooks are strong, and the music is embellished and nuanced. These two songs are my favourite thing about this album, because, as much as I enjoy the Latin influenced ballad style tracks, this is a core sound that I hope the band continues with moving forward.
So overall, a good album but not a great one, had the album been a 6 song EP I would have given it more praise but unfortunately as it is I found it a little bit difficult get through. My hopes is that on the next one they move more towards their folk-punk style. Or become a Latin ballad group, I guess.