There’s a seductively majestic quality always at play on Yeti Lane’s second LP.
David Sheppard 2012-02-28
Parisian psych-pop/shoe-gazing trio Yeti Lane caused a stir with their eponymous debut back in January 2010 – but initially hot anticipation of its successor was tempered by news that multi-instrumentalist Loïc Carron had quit the group. Fortunately, even as a duo, Yeti Lane can still boast a brace of versatile instrumentalists – Ben Pleng and Charlie B – who, along with hands-on producer Antoine Gaillet, ensure that this swooning, throbbing album could hardly sound less like the work of an emasculated combo.
The Echo Show is well named; there’s scarcely an arpeggiated guitar chord, whirring synth note or breathless ululation across its nine elongated tracks (interspersed with short, atmospheric ‘interludes’) that doesn’t resound to the pulsing, cosmic reflection of what sounds like an old analogue Space Echo processor – a trippy device once beloved of Pink Floyd, dub reggae producers and a generation of Krautrockers. Not that Yeti Lane’s is an entirely retro shtick; indeed, by fusing the influence of My Bloody Valentine, Deerhunter and LCD Soundsystem with both a pulsating Kraut sensibility (that of Neu! most palpably) while bathing everything in a mellifluous pop sheen, they wind up closer in spirit to the sort of time-machine alchemy so successfully parlayed by Air (another Gallic duo given to recycling recherché rock influences) than any shallow homage to yesteryear’s psychedelic glories.
Opening song Analog Wheel (perhaps a tribute to the aforementioned Space Echo…), sets the tone. A veritable grande bouffe of burbling, Cluster-like synths, motorik drums and surging peals of guitar, it builds in great moiré slabs of colour, finally attaining a high plateau of breathless, explosive melody and harmony – Krautrock refracted through the hall of mirrors in the Palace of Versailles.
Nothing else on the record quite matches that startling gambit, although Strange Call – plangent, Tom Verlaine-like guitars wedded to a juddering, Syd Barrettesque, psych-pop chord progression – and the glinting, Spacemen 3-like cosmic-rocker Sparkling Sunbeam (with ethereal vocals by a guesting David-Ivar Herman Düne) run it close. Even when they ease off the gas with the gentle acoustic guitars and distantly sighing synths of Alba, there’s a seductively majestic quality always at play.