Label: Sonic Cathedral Release date: 25/01/10 Website: http://www.myspace.com/yetilane Sometimes a band claims, on their myspace profile, to be from ‘Yeti Land, Nepal’, and are still worth listening to. Enter Yeti Lane, a trio of Parisians who dig ethereal vocals and hypnotic guitar lines, who are clearly and consciously trying to evoke some seriously suave late 60s and 70s guitar pop whist dabbling in Kraftwerk synths. Shoegaze is perhaps reductive, these boys have their sights instead set squarely on the stars. Considering their heritage both in terms of influences and their own recording history, this self titled debut is surprisingly concise and uplifting. Tracks like ‘Black Soul’ demonstrate precisely what a psychedelic epic becomes when pressed through an indie rock mould; a melange of lilting guitars, a tender and actually quite pretty vocal melody and a mesmeric set of beats and percussion. It’s surprisingly compelling by way of being so understated. As with the album as a whole ‘Lonesome George’ is not a genre trail-blazer, but it doesn’t need to be, and the slow-burn, chilled out positivity of it is certainly refreshing. Though it begins with a rapid synth arpeggio, the forthcoming verse is classic, up-beat pop beauty the full force of which doesn’t quite hit until you realise that the vocals recall Robert Wyatt, the instrumentation could well have been arranged by The Jaybirds, but somehow it still feels fresh. It’s all cyclical I guess. Yeti Lane’s only real misstep is final, inevitably epic track ‘Heart’s Architecture’ which is just a little too similar to a lethargic Grandaddy album closer minus Jason Lytle’s charismatic vocals. Prior to this each track is distinct, carefully measured and assured. Yeti Lane's debut album gets the essentials spot on and the embellishments, deliberately sparse, are handled deftly for the most part. This band revel in meshing relaxed rhythms and subtly eccentric song structures with refined elements of their past psychedelic oeuvre, the likes of which are very much due a comeback. It's not a record that is likely to become quite as legendary as the band's namesake, but conception and execution of this kind is certainly rare enough to satisfy all but the most ambitious of musical big game hunters. Rating: 8/10

Lonesome George from Antoine Lepoutre on Vimeo.

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