April 21, 2014

Five: Projekt A-ko's Yoyodyne

There has been a 57:32-sized gap in the 21st century Internet for years, and it has been a source of regular disappointment, not being able to easily recommend to the attention of friends one of our very favorite records, Glaswegian noise-pop act Projekt A-ko's titanic 2009 full-length Yoyodyne. The album was released five years ago yesterday, and while we have very happy personal associations that go along with the record, Yoyodyne is remarkable for a number of reasons any indie rock fan can grasp: amazing hooks, massive guitars, visionary songcraft, engaging dynamics and mind-boggling lyrics. We named it our second-favorite record of 2009 here, and band fronter Fergus Lawrie kindly wrote a track-by-track guide to the record for Clicky Clicky readers here back in the day.

While the album has a purposely glacial opening fade-in that may stymy impatient listeners (an homage to bygone Boston chimp rock heroes Drop Nineteens and the title track to that band's watermark 1990 LP Delaware), Yoyodyne presents an embarrassment of hits, all in a row, straight across the record. Commencing with the alternately skittering, dreamy and thunderous "Hey Palooka!" and closing with the uncharacteristically spare, powerfully poignant and horribly resigned ballad "Don't Listen To This Song," it's impossible for us to pick favorite tracks from the album. But we've certainly got favorite moments, moments we carry around with us every day. There's the break-down at the beginning of the second verse of "Palooka!," when Mr. Lawrie sings "and all the stars are out, they kiss you on the mouth, they kiss you on the...." There's the repeated observation "every day you fail" in "Nothing Works Twice;" the barreling beginning of "Supertriste Duxelle;" and the repeated exclamation "Dear God" in "Here Comes New Challenger!" (the second of two songs on the album whose title contains an exclamation point, from an album on which every song title could just be piles of exclamation points). The album does not let up.

Maybe you've noticed: we unreservedly love Yoyodyne. Sure, it reminds us of spring, it makes us think of the birth of our daughter, but most important of all it is fucking awesome. So awesome, in fact, that we asked Lawrie personally if we could post the record to YouTube for a while so people could have a listen and then buy it. It's excellent, and people need to hear it, and we are thrilled to have received his consent in time to post the record for this anniversary. While a follow-up was mentioned as soon as Yoyodyne was released, and in the intervening years has apparently been started and stopped numerous times and as recently as two years ago, and there is a fairly active rumor mill regarding new music from the trio, there has not yet been any formal successive release from Projekt A-ko. Mr. Lawrie's interests have led him deep into both documentary work and Glasgow's improvised noise scene, and besides a thrilling cover of Drop Nineteens' "Winona" that was emailed to certain fans years ago, the wait for new music from the act has been, well, a wait. But we'll always have Yoyodyne, and we continue to be hopeful that we have not yet heard the last from Projekt A-ko.

Buy Yoyodyne here.

Projekt A-ko: Facebook | Last.FM | MySpace

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Anonymous said...

This album is so fantastic. I listen to it when I need to get pumped up. For whatever reason it is totally gives me the feeling of being an excited teenager. If they were ever to release another album, it would be a christmas present to me.

Absent Friend said...

I'm Woody Pecker
This is easily one of my favourite ALL TIME albums <3