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Koyo - Koyo album review

My Bloody Valentine-flavoured dreamscapes invariably headed for a headrush

KOYO album artwork

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