The common misconception of math-rock is that it’s nothing more than just spidery guitar lines and meek, breathy vocals. And while that might hold some weight, it’s also very reductive, given the large part that the knowledge of dynamics plays to propel the genre and prevent it from sounding stagnant.
So, for a band painted with the math-rock brush, it’s surprising to see that The Yacht Club only have a grasp of maybe the first point. On new EP ‘Fall’, the twinkling delicacy is here in spades, but it never goes anywhere. The influence of folk acts like Ben Howard and Bon Iver are apparent, especially in the way that these four tracks sound utterly anaemic and uninteresting.
Perhaps, in the right mindset, the likes of ‘Mouth Of The Beast’ of the featherweight piano shimmer of ‘Be Happy And Love Pt. 1’ could sound pretty, but otherwise there’s nothing here, just tiny acoustic chords, swathes of echo effects and Marcus Gooda’s airy vocals that convey emotional yearning but in the least effective way possible.
And yes, ‘Fall’ is clearly a left turn to let The Yacht Club test the waters with something different, but that doesn’t mean it pays off. It’s not totally terrible and the redeeming factor of being understated enough to not get on anyone’s nerves, but that’s probably its downfall too. It does nothing that make itself memorable in any way, and to be honest that’s probably for the best.
‘Fall’ EP by The Yacht Club is out now on Beth Shalom Records
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)