Bristol-based power trio Yo No Se tend to wear their metal title proudly on the debut LP Soma, released in October via Stolen Body Records. Harsh and abrasive vocals, distorted instrumentation, and contrasting tempos are all in check. Everything works well together, making for one polished and consistent piece of work. However, the album’s main charm doesn’t come from a few muddy sounding instruments, but rather from its pure southern aesthetic. The album is full of influences that range from southern rock to grunge and further to psychedelia and prog. Yo No Se utilizes undertones rather than overtones. Instead of the listener getting Skynyrd stylized riffs thrown at them every few minutes, they are treated with a more subtle approach.
The instrumentation utilized on the Soma is greatly varied. This isn’t a metal album that spirals into self-indulgent guitar solos, or stays set on a riff. Instead, a happy medium is found. Guitar and drums are more than competent, and bass isn’t completely overproduced out of audible range. The band does a fantastic job switching from the heavy opener “Master,” to the more psyched-out “D-IX.” The sounds and moods are constantly changing and the members do a fine job keeping up throughout. It is evident that the band is really having an enjoyable time.
“Down the Hall” has that mentioned southern feel, and the trio of “The Sleeper Awakes,” “Stranger to Saint,” and “Separation” create the focal point of the album. The trio, arguably, presents their best on these three songs, incorporating all of the mentioned elements in their sound.
However, “Mule” and closing “Seminal Semen” are also contenders for the record’s top song. The latter does bring a bit of experimentation to the table with psych rock shaping it up.
Yo No Se have released what could easily be a contender for metal album of the year. Full of charm and character, Soma is a great listening experience. The album is available as digital download and vinyl via Bandcamp. A photo gallery showing the ‘Blue with Black Splatter’ vinyl edition can be seen below.