Koyo - Koyo album review

My Bloody Valentine-flavoured dreamscapes invariably headed for a headrush

KOYO album artwork

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Allying an engaging and accessible neo-prog dynamism with mellifluous vocal clarity and an ambitiously cinematic strain of string-driven soundscapes more readily associated with My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields, Leeds quintet Koyo have identified a unique niche for themselves on this, their eagerly awaited eponymous debut. Born of extensive and spontaneous live improvisations, Koyo’s core material could easily have lost much in translation, but like Floyd before them, the band edit assiduously for the studio yet retain the sonic spectacle of their finest, most inspired performance. Against a vocal so louche as to make even Thom Yorke seem rawthroated and raucous, Ray Of Sunshine stretches toward a crescendo that could easily occasion spontaneous levitation in the listener. There are moments of breath-catching Flaming Lips respite, What Is Mine whips out a post-coital acoustic, but it’s the broad canvases that are the true crowd-pleasers, and Tetrachromat (Parts 1 & 2) fits the bill as only a song with such a title could. Part 1 eases the already punch drunk ear witness into Part 2’s prolonged, psych-bordering coda that spirals all concerned ever-closer to ultimate oblivion. Verdict? Job done

Classic Rock’s Reviews Editor for the last 19 years, Ian stapled his first fanzine in 1977. Since misspending his youth by way of ‘research’ his work has also appeared in such publications as Metal Hammer, Prog, NME, Uncut, Kerrang!, VOX, The Face, The Guardian, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Electronic Sound, Record Collector and across the internet. Permanently buried under mountains of recorded media, ears ringing from a lifetime of gigs, he enjoys nothing more than recreationally throttling a guitar and following a baptism of punk fire has played in bands for 45 years, releasing recordings via Esoteric Antenna and Cleopatra Records.