Wed 14 Apr 2010
Are Canadian kids really leading a ’90s alternative pop revival? Oh No! Yoko definitely seem to be attempting it, as do a bunch of other young bands in the Vancouver area. Maybe it’s the fact that they sound a little like Tokyo Police Club that has me on that train of thought, but hey, I’m no expert on the subject, you’ll have to make up your own mind.
At just sixteen years of age Everett Morris, Nic Denis and Liam Hamilton are all still in High School. However that hasn’t stopped them from recording a bunch of songs that sound cleaner than most other bedroom pop projects. They’ve been lining up and gradually winning fans in Vancouver for the past four years and their song ‘Courtyard! Bankrupt!’ has had extensive airtime on Canada’s CBS Radio. They even performed live during the recent winter Olympics, on the same bill as Tokyo Police Club.
But like a lot of young bands they’re still experimenting with different techniques. Liam and Everett once played in a metal band together and if you listen to the three tracks they have on their Myspace page you can hear multiple influences. ‘Courtyard! Bankrupt!’ is bouncy and synth heavy, with a TV themed sense of humour reminiscent of a late ’90s after-school teen drama. ‘Deer In Japan’ takes on Death Cab For Cutie, all electronic clicks and clouded in shy romanticism. While ‘Yellow Babies’ is the band’s attempt at writing a guitar, bass and drums song, focusing on sound over aesthetic.
Oh No! Yoko has also benefited from an emerging support base in Vancouver, fed by local religious groups. Even though the band has no church affiliation they’ve become involved with For Ones Coming After, an organisation dedicated to putting on live shows in churches and amphitheatres across the city, with a focus on being all-ages and unlicensed. FOCA has also helped the band make t-shirts, via American Apparel.
They’re currently writing and recording a debut album which they hope to release in 2011.