Yeasts sound is emotional rock in the vein of bands like Jawbox and Fugazi, showcasing an unusual combination of melody and intensity. There are a variety of styles on offer, but despite the diversity, with songs ranging from straight melodic rock to complex metallic hardcore, the bands own identity shines through
Released in 2002 on Golf Records
11. Grande Manifestation
On Yeast’s latest record, Expander, the British foursome manages to capture the raw essence of what the post-hardcore trend is supposed to be about: a perfect blending of distorted yet swirling guitar melodies, intense rhythms and passionate vocals. Expander contains captivating songs reminiscent of Quicksand, with conscious and powerful lyrics. With every listen, I grow increasingly fond of Yeast and their intensely grungy garage sound, a quality many bands strive for but few achieve. It’s funny how a group of Brits managed to capture the sound of NY melodic hardcore better than most American bands in the same genre. Powerful tracks like “Crush” and “Quell” almost guarantee these guys a spot in the “bands who might save the scene” department.
Yeast was a band from the UK made up of a random selection of occasionally like minds. Started by Ed Keric (drums) and James Parker (guitars/vocals) in 1996 with a shared love of bands like Fugazi, Shudder to Think, Helmet and Jawbox, who were bending melodic edgy hardcore rock into new shapes. They bashed away for a while in Eds kitchen in Camberwell, south London, trying to find different ways of being tuneful, heavy and distracting. Armed with a cassette demo they sought out a bass player and the perfect contender turned up in the form of Neil Rickarby, similarly in love with warped rock but armed with a host of new stuff to further bend James and Eds minds (Blind Idiot God, US Maple, Cheer Accident, Don Caballero). But they stayed a relatively straight-forward trio, eventually making a four-track vinyl 7-inch (Ten Second Memory) on Household Name after the labels Lil was impressed at a gig at Londons Red Eye. They then went on to record album History Equals Fog in 2000 with engineer John Hannon, a mammoth 14-song epic that defined their sound. Gigs followed with the likes of Blue Tip, Kerosene 454, Kill Holiday, Braid, Burning Airlines, The Promise Ring, plus a mini-tour with Boy Sets Fire. They would also later play the Garage with Oxes, possibly a mismatch in retrospect. However despite limited success it was felt a change of approach should be tried on vocals to make them more ‘in your face’, and Stuart Mills of Sensefield fans Grand Central was offered the job. He slotted in straight away with total enthusiam, and brought his pipes to the fore on the second album Expander (2002 – John Hannon engineer). The band had signed to Golf Records for this release, but sadly promised gigs did not materialise, and while it had good reviews the album disappeared. Yeast was a band stuck in the middle – probably too melodic and rocky for the hardcore types, and too metallic and hardcore for the indie-types. While everyone seems to be peddling some kind of ’emotional’ styled hardcore these days, Yeast were maybe ahead of their time in the UK. They retreated to their railway arch practice space in south London following the non-expansion of Expander, with Neil eventually leaving to be replaced by Pete Lutkoski after recording a new demo. With two new members and a slightly different sound the band was renamed Red Ashes in 2003. It only survived for a few more gigs.