Back with the second teaser from their forthcoming new EP, polyrhythmic prog practitioners Yomi Ship’s exquisite latest offering displays all the mature songcraft, intricate technical qualities and experimental sense of sonic adventure that has made them one of the hottest tickets on the local live scene.
An oldish number that has been slowly evolved across several live shows, Kawataro Spring – quite possibly named after a mischievous demon imp found in traditional Japanese folklore – starts off sounding uncannily like Chicago’s pioneering post rockers Tortoise jamming in minimalistic mode with exploratory jazz-fusion vibes brought to the fore.
The band cite Tangled Thoughts of Leaving and Radiohead as major influences on Kawataro but to these aging ears, it’s sound of John McIntyre and co exploring a beautifully constructed prog groove that is more prominent. Not every band has the chops to pull off a convincing Tortoise impersonation and the fact that Yomi can do it with such consummate ease simply speaks volumes.
Things start sounding a lot more like Tangled Thoughts during the song’s woozy breakdown passage as proceedings take a turn into avant garde and psychedelic territory. Here, drums thud subtly, FX guitars meander and scrape in atmospheric fashion and ominous synth sounds bleep, bubble and whoosh in the background before the track cuts out sharply to allow the band to dive back to the song’s mesmerising arpeggiated riff as if they never left it in the first place.
From this point on, there are complex breaks and unexpected chord changes aplenty as the song shifts seamlessly from ambient psych prog to jazz-infused post rock and then back again. It’s a dizzying mix that defies simple categorisation and as an exotic sounding taster for the new EP, it definitely works in getting everyone excited at the prospect of more good things to come.