Black magic, pyramids, time travel, punk energy and a hell of a lot of repetitive narrative surrealism: these are good ingredients for a single to have. If they’re expressed by means of obtuse lyrics over high-voltage, low-fi riffing so much the better – and, as the more perceptive among you may already have gathered, The Yell’s debut release does exactly that.
Of the two tracks here, ‘My Baby’s Into Witchcraft’ is the more traditional: a fairly straightforward 2.37 punk-rock blast of shouted lyrics and jaggedly rhythmic guitars. All very good fun, but to my mind it’s b-side ‘Pyramids’ that stands out. Boasting a suitably Egyptian sound, and combining a swaying, hypnotic rhythm with exotic guitars, rippling synth effects and staticy distortion, it’s an odd, compelling mix of playfulness and almost threateningly deliberate crafted solidity: you can damn near see the sand dunes in the rise and fall of the guitars.
Add near-spoken word ramblings on the subjects of suntan, tomb raiding, internet travel booking and extreme heat, and introduce a mysterious first-person protagonist known only as Sandra (who really wants to meet ya…), and you have an intriguing number which makes the listener want more. It’s punk rock with a penchant for tailored suits and role play, and is simply cracking fun.