For those who are punk-inclined, I have found you a Fugazi. In a context where everything else resembles an actual fugazi (variously defined as a fake or a fucked up situation), Yes I’m Leaving is the brutal and efficient slap of sense that Australia has been missing. The new album is direct, punchy, cathartic and chaotic; it feels like a bandaid being ripped from the hairiest part of your skin, over and over again.
On their fourth LP, Slow Release (which is being released via Homeless Records), Sydney’s holy trinity sound dirtier, scummier and more savage than ever before. The production values have been extensively upgraded, with every scrape and bellow of their instruments being picked up and intensified. But rather than creating some sort of squeaky clean parody of themselves, the studio treatment has ensured that Yes I’m Leaving’s usual maelstrom is even more pronounced.
Opening track ‘One’ is especially fearsome. As all members link into a staccato pounding of the hooves, stampeding doom seems an impending reality. The finale is sheer ferocity, frontman Billy Burke screaming ‘One!’ in his banshee cry with enough force to rip the hair right off your head. Latest single “Fear” has a similar effect. It’s basically an expanded Drive Like Jehu track that’s been embellished with a particularly foreboding melody and a strong Australian accent.
Yes I’m Leaving may be more cynical than a Scrooge who’s been through the Vietnam War and create a more gnashing atmosphere than a Tasmanian Devil going through withdrawals, but that’s exactly what separates them from the rest and places them in a higher domain of punk music. Slow Release is an essential listen for anyone who likes to get their heads thumped in by carnivorous punk. And for those who haven’t had the pleasure of such an experience? The perfect introduction.