EP Review | Yonaka – ‘Teach Me To Fight’

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Yonaka dominate further on their New EP ‘Teach Me To Fight

The latest offering from rebel-rousers Yonaka is a suitably rocking call to arms hopefully setting the tone for a debut album.
2018 has so far been a huge year for Yonaka; numerous high-profile festival dates and support slots have seen them rise as it was predicted they would. But rising means nothing without songs to stoke passion in people and get them ready to join you on your quest to conquer music. This is where Yonaka’s latest E.P Teach Me To Fight comes in; four songs of punchy and dark pop music with some of the signature crunching guitars that have made them so popular.
Opening track ‘Fired Up’ is about being frustrated and starts with Theresa and the gang a bit more minimal than usual and is similar to their more ballad-like tracks ‘Heavy’. It’s immediately apparent that synths are due to take a more prominent role in the next phase of the band’s evolution and while it’s a departure from their harder more garage-y roots the big scale of sound that Yonaka are great at is still prevalent, and as a set-up track Fired Up is pretty faultless – It definitely gets you fired up to hear more.

Second track ‘Waves’ is back into more familiar Yonaka territory; noisy and kickass with that guttural sound that guitarist George has commandeered and which compliments Theresa’s vocals so perfectly. Like their previous single ‘Ignorance’ the chorus provides Theresa with a means of displaying her vocal prowess and it doesn’t take more than two plays to get this one stuck in your head.
It is, however, title track ‘Teach Me To Fight‘ that packs the biggest punch and is the most triumphant. The opening riff straightaway marks this out as a certifiably enjoyable track, and the two-fingers up at the world attitude that Yonaka have long exuberated comes to the forefront. What I felt opening track Fired Up was missing this song has in spades. Yonaka have never been ones to mince their words but this tune leaves me wondering if the “explicit” warning is to do with the language used in the song or the feelings it causes inside of me: The chorus rocks hard and you can see many an adrenaline and Yonaka fuelled moshpit in your mind’s eye when you hear it.
Final track ‘Wish You Were Somebody’ keeps that high with a very No Doubt twist on the guitars and verses. As a longtime fan of Yonaka who somehow hasn’t managed to catch one of their festival slots yet I’m extremely excited to hear these last two tracks live and get the real measure of them – Theresa and the gang are always on top form and their releases have yet to disappoint but I know that live these songs will really shine.
Words by Oscar Rees
4/5

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