YOTA at Xoyo
Getting the almost mythical rapper MF Doom to gift a new band with a verse is a pretty incredible feat. Youth of the Apocalypse’s debut track Drop the Bomb featuring the London-born, US-based hip hop artist is a brilliantly produced and promising first single with a terrific contribution courtesy of your favourite rapper’s favourite rapper.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised that Doom would collaborate with YOTA. They hail from established musical pedigrees with members formed from both Gorillaz and Klaxons and topped off with rapper Young Lazarus. Headlining last night at Xoyo, the group performed to a packed audience in East London.
First things first: this ensemble can’t be shoehorned into any specific genre. Their performance was a solid amalgamation of hip-hop, indie and rock sounds, with the band at one moment incorporating 90s Brit-rock styles and at another introducing funky bass lines and rapping courtesy of Young Lazarus.
But truth be told, it feels a tad unfair to grade their performance by normal benchmarks. As of this moment, you could count all the shows the band have played on one hand. Even though on this occasion they performed to a packed audience, this gig was probably designed with the aim of getting the ensemble accustomed to performing cohesively and working out any chinks in the armour. Whilst the instrumentation sounded strong – with Algorhythm sounding absolutely gorgeous – at times, despite the singer’s clear enthusiasm, the sound quality would taper off, reducing the clarity of vocals and melodies. In essence, whilst it wasn’t horrible, the moments where they rose to spectacular were few and far between.
Plus, it didn’t help that they didn’t perform Drop the Bomb, which was especially odd as that song put them on the radar. Even without Doom, or with Young Lazarus covering his verse, not having your flagship number on a setlist just doesn’t make sense. Especially considering it’s their only track that you can stream right now. Although redemption was found when Noel Gallagher joined them on stage to perform the tremendous Fire in My Mind.
With that said, most of these problems could be put down to teething issues. Despite a somewhat rocky start, the group’s setlist was undeniably interesting. Even with a meagre ten-song programme, each track felt like it had its own unique character, suggesting that YOTA’s creative diversity will eventually pay off, making them a band to look out for in the future.
Photos: Erol Birsen
For further information and future events visit Yota’s website here.