Yatsura – We Are Yatsura

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist

So, this band is known as Urusei Yatsura except in the United States, and this album is likewise called We Are Urusei Yatsura everywhere in the world that is not the United States. The name comes from a manga, and I am not sure why there are only legal issues with that here. Whatever you call them, this was a Scottish band from the 1990s. They released three studio albums and then broke up in 2001. They were sometimes called “the Scottish Pavement,” which is only a little accurate.

What I Think of This Album

This is Yatsura’s debut album. It’s basically the sound of young indie kids making a loud racket and having a lot of fun doing it. It’s juvenile and carefree, noisy and good-natured, energetic and loose, with a little of the off-kilter and angular thrown in. “Siamese” rushes along on blasts of distorted guitar, as well as some combination of the “toy spaceship, beatbox, dolls, raygun” credited to all band members in the liner notes. “First Day On a New Planet” tones down the snottiness for something resembling genuine appreciation for the feeling of liberation and release, with a melodic bass part and well-used feedback. “Kewpies Like Watermelon” alternates between laconic singing and quick screams. Meanwhile, the first half of “Phasers On Stun/Sola Kola” sounds pretty much like you think it would; the second half does not, with nary a melody and a gangly guitar line that goes nowhere, with some incoherent shouting in the background. The bent notes of “Black Hole Love” suggest the closest thing to a ballad here, but the explosive chorus sort of strains that description. The band returns to more straightforward (within the context of their material) rockin’ with “Plastic Ashtray.” There is more fun noise on “Pachinko.” Shit gets confusing with a twenty second, unlisted track, making the excellent “Kernel” the twelfth track even though it is number eleven if you count down the back cover (and the dark, riffy “Road Song” (sort of like Steppenwolf via Swervedriver, with Stephen Malkmus on vocals) is thus the thirteenth song, but the twelfth listed). John Rivers, who also worked with the excellent Close Lobsters (also from Scotland), was the engineer.

The Best Thing About This Album

“First Day On a Brand New Planet”

Release Date

May, 1996

The Cover Art

Is there anything more predictably indie than an album cover made up of a collection of Polaroids? No. For all their musical middle-finger raising, this is a very conventional cover. The image here is obviously the non-U.S. version. Within these shores, the Polaroids are the same but the “We are” text replaces the “urusei” in the third column, and the Japanese characters are only on the last Polaroid in the second row (and some of the characters are different).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑