With a slew of “Ones to Watch”-type accolades under their belt for 2018, YONAKA is the name on the tip of everyone’s tongue right now. Tonight, the fiery foursome capitalise on the buzz with a heaving hometown headline show at Green Door Store, and there’s a superb supporting cast in tow.
Method Actress, who will play Hidden Herd Presents: Swimming Tapes at the same venue on April 13th, are first up – and the Brighton four-piece’s glacial combination of hazy shoegaze and post-rock is both heart-wrenching and exhilarating throughout. The bittersweet ‘Point Of View’ and reverb-doused earworm ‘Mistress’ have a DIIV-like vibe in the flesh, which mesmerises and rouses in equal measure, and they conclude their stellar set collapsed in a heap on the floor as feedback and sonic chaos ensue.
Like Method Actress, Reading’s Valeras seem destined to top the bill of chock-full shows in huge rooms – with it only taking a few doses of high-octane rock to convert the overspilling cobbled venue this evening. Thunderous riffs and crashing cymbals combine as the five-piece unleash their infectious arsenal of tunes, but there’s a glistening pop sensibility and eclecticness at their core that feels reminiscent of Londoners Wolf Alice. Highlights ‘Knives & Flowers’ and ‘Colour Me’ showcase their prowess, with band focal point Rose Yagmur’s pristine vocals and magnetic intensity proving utterly gripping.
South coast favourites YONAKA have a similarly captivating frontwoman in Theresa Jarvis, who leads Green Door Store through the band’s supercharged nuggets of noise to date. Following recent performances at Brighton Centre and Patterns, the rock quartet already feel like they’ve outgrown their surrounds tonight, so the intimate setting is something of a close quarters treat to savour before they inevitably occupy sprawling stages.
Naturally, all hell breaks loose from the get-go: ‘Gods & Lovers’ is thunderous, the meeting point between No Doubt’s ultra-hooky pop rock and My Bloody Valentine’s face-melting wall of sound, ‘Wouldn’t Wanna Be Ya’ is a strutting behemoth in the vein of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and ‘Run’ is a ferocious riff-o-rama. Thumpingly heavy and irresistibly catchy, penultimate tune ‘Ignorance’ is their apex which invites an unparalleled reaction – a high point that shows YONAKA have an irrefutable ability to spark pandemonium… and make it look easy at the same time.