by Samantha Mae
Tearing things up and starting again. This is something that Great Ytene know too well. The London based four piece explore the depths of raw post-punk, art rock with their apocalyptic debut album, Locus. Blurring the line between chaos and beauty, Great Ytene take the struggle of losing an album’s worth of material and having to start again from scratch well in their stride, lending themselves the opportunity to revise their visions, ensuring that Locus is better than ever imagined.
Great Ytene’s self titled EP from 2014 came with a softer psych-sound, delivering tantalising tracks, all the while keeping their toes dipped in a pool of pop. The release of Locus sees them shake off the pop and fully submerge themselves into darker realms. Where once there was a sweet little fuzz of innocence, is a somewhat abrasive buzz of experience. Vocals aside, it almost sounds like a different band, and so their nature of deconstruction and reassembly lives on.
This album is steeped in a crazed energy of fast paced instrumentation. Even as songs slow, the energy remains, there’s always something that keeps the buzz alive. Forever in perfect balance with the vocal pace, that either matches or counteracts the effects, the shredding brutality of Locus comes with precise and delicate configuration. ‘Cruel Desires’ thrusts us into turmoil as the pace quickens throughout, up until the point the mind is left pulsing with the delightfully incessant noise that finishes it. It remains enjoyable, making sure not to overstep the mark and go full on white noise. Following this is title track ‘Locus’, slowing things down, allowing a moment to take a breath as repetitive lyrics have a soothingly hypnotic effect.
The album is constantly moving, never getting stuck in one place, yet it continues to work as a solid unit of unified sound. Though it explores darker themes, the album shines as the Great Ytene create a dreamworld, this time with a dash more chaos than previous efforts. It is not a nightmarish affair, rather it’s simply more real. Locus seems to deal with the frenzy of the mind, refined through music. We’re not talking about living in fear, but seeing Great Ytene a little differently, we’ve seen the fluffy side, now here they are in delightful disarray.
It’s an album in which they appear to be doing purely what they want. One of the best things about it, is that it is by no means straightforward. Locus keeps you guessing, never knowing what’s around the corner, living for the thrill of every turn. This is much more than a collection of music, this is an immersive artistic movement that demands your attention and damn well deserves it.
Locus is out on February 17th via Faux Discx.