Yatsura – ¡Pulpo!

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist (part 2)

Welp, this image cannot be made larger, which sucks. Fucking hell. Yatsura was one of those bands that I liked enough to grab their album if and when I came across it, if I could, and if I remembered, but not enough to make a priority. I did care enough to – long after their demise – track down the sophomore album. The band was made up of songwriters/guitarists/vocalists Fergus Lawrie and Graham Kemp, two University of Glasgow students, and the Graham siblings – Elaine and Ian – as the rhythm section, making this band 75% Grahams, which I think is a record.

What I Think of This Album

¡Pulpo! is a collection of singles and B-sides dating from 1995-97, placing it after the debut and before second album, Slain by Yatsura, in release history. Given its disjointed nature and the time span of the song recordings, this is a surprisingly strong release; on the other hand, maybe they were adept at choosing their best material for singles. The simplistic sing-songy “Strategic Hamlets” never crosses over into annoying, mostly because of the blasts of noise that undercut any preciousness. “Down Home Kitty” bears an uncanny resemblance to Pavement in the vocals, a link the band openly acknowledges during the spoken word intro to “Kozee Heart,” which is one of the least Pavement-y songs on here, as compared to quiet “Pampered Adolescent” (which has a great lyric about “Burger King crowns” and a knotted two-note guitar riff) and “Silver Krest,” both of which could have easily been on Slanted and Enchanted. Meanwhile, “Mirimar,” “Saki and Cremola,” and “Revir, plus the last two songs, are more experimental, with hints of Sonic Youth sometimes (and early Boo Radleys on “Revir”), whereas “Got the Sun” is downright pretty, and maybe the most conventional tune they ever recorded.

The Best Thing About This Album

The unexpected beauty of “Got the Sun” is an eye-opener. 

Release Date

1997

The Cover Art

Doesn’t do it for me. Too stark and boring; the orange is oppressive.

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