I last saw Yashin opening for Skindred in November 2015 at the 02 ABC Glasgow. It had been nearly 4 years since I had seen them play live and was I was quite frankly awe inspired by the makeover they had given themselves. Post Skindred gig and they are definitely now a band I pay more attention too.
I was eager to hear their newest release The Renegades and from the outset it has what I consider to be a very misleading intro track as we’re greeted with a gentle symphony of piano and electronics, to add to the now building tension the first lyrics we hear from Harry Radford are “Have I just fallen asleep” and you soon begin to wonder if “Spreading The Disease” was inspired by someone who spreads Narcolepsy. How wrong could I be! Forty five seconds in Paul Travers comes thundering through to save the day, closely followed by double bassing David Beaton. At a minute fifteen we finally get our first taste of Kevin Miles’s fearsome vocals and your blood really starts pumping.
Not slowing the tempo, you’re blasted straight into “The Beginning Of The End” I wasn’t fortunate enough to attend Yashin’s most recent hometown gig in Glasgow Garage’s G2 but if included in the setlist I have no doubts this track made the dancefloor explode with energy with the meaty breakdowns and screams of “pick it up”.
If listeners were hoping for a breather in the form of “Dorothy Gale” then it gives me great pleasure in my capacity as Pit Troll to say they’ll be sorely disappointed, it’s a circle pit starter for sure and I’ll let the lyrics speak for me here “There’s no place I’d rather be” the guest vocals from rapper Itch are a nice touch too.
“D.E.A.D” and title track “The Renegades” will no doubt become firm crowd-pleasers with their very catchy sing alongs.
“Vultures” had a very definitive Rock rather than Metal feeling for me. This isn’t meant as a downright criticism of course. The track is a great opportunity to hear Harry’s impressive vocal range and Kevin’s signature screaming adds an extra element of spice which should silence those who cry “it’s too mainstream”.
I generally rate tracks on anticipated crowd reaction when they’re played live and all I can say is the next time I get to see Yashin, I want some “Stockholm Sinner” action! Definitely may favourite track on the album. I don’t know who the “Fame Hungry Bitch” the song refers to is but I hope the growing success of Yashin is sticking it to them.
“Long Live Salvation” and “Dead Spells” may not share the same elements of aggression the previous track does but they certainly keep the energy of the album flowing nicely. If I was to offer any negative feedback at all about the album then it would be that both of these tracks have great breakdowns but they’re both slightly deflated by Harry shouting “Woo!” which feels unnecessary.
Despite the random voice over opening, penultimate track “Play Me” gives you a second last kick in the ass.
When I listened to closing track “Circle The Sun” it had a vibe of “They’ve just done 10 rounds with a musical Mike Tyson, we’d better give their ears a soothing rubdown” Perhaps it may even earn Yashin the distinct accolade of being the first British metal band to appear on one of those “classic chillout” compilation albums that you buy your Mum for Mother’s Day. Wether they’d be happy about that or not is something that remains to be seen. Watch this space!
I have high hopes for Yashin, despite the loss of a core member and a 4 year gap in releasing new music The Renegades definitely signifies that they are back with a bang. Keep up the good work fellas, I give the album 8/10.