Yeah Yeah Noh

Leicester Square: The Best of Yeah Yeah Noh

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The 20 tracks here were taken from EPs, LPs, and BBC radio sessions, with a couple of unreleased songs added. There's a complete discography with song listings in the liner notes. But could it really have been that much trouble to indicate the date and source of each song on the actual track list, instead of necessitating cumbersome scanning of the whole discography to match each tune with its point of origination? Anyway, this is a sufficient overview of the Leicester band's nonchalant brand of British post-punk. There have been comparisons of this group to the Fall elsewhere, but really this lot were much more melodic and less abrasive. Any similarity would arise in a generally downbeat stream-of-consciousness outlook, though Yeah Yeah Noh's melancholy was far less bleaker than that of the Fall (or numerous other British groups from the same school). Indeed some of these cuts are rather poppy, with creepy reverberant guitar lines and chirpy female backup vocals. "Pink Green" has enough of a circular folk-rock ring to widen its appeal beyond the British post-punk audience, while there's an occasional fetching folkiness in offerings like "Zoological Gardens." It's above-average mid-1980s British indie rock in diversity and quality, but one wishes for more passion and originality in the songwriting and reserved, slightly bummed-out vocals.

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