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Yossari Baby
Inferiority Complex Jonathan Wright , May 2nd, 2023 12:48

Channeling creative insecurity as a DIY act of post-punk defiance, Yossari Baby are far more than just another post-punk band, finds Jonathan Wright

Strictly chronologically, it is of course impossible to make an album that’s anything other than post-punk without the aid of a time machine. But some records are more post-punk than others. This new offering from Manchester’s Yossari Baby is a case in point, calling to mind as it does John Foxx-era Ultravox! and Orchestral Manoeuvres alongside bands from the next generation, Depeche Mode, Nitzer Ebb and Age Of Chance.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised that such influences appear to be discernible in so many recent albums. Britain in the early 2020s is in many ways not so different from Britain in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Which is to say shabby, sullen, tired and worried about what might be coming next. Updating the angular repetitions of post-punk and the edgier end of synthpop is somehow a fitting response to nervy times.

None of this, it should be emphasised, is to suggest Yossari Baby – Tim Schiazza on vocals, guitar and electronics, singer Lucie Forest and guitarist Mark Javin, a project that grew from The Yossarians collective, named as a nod to Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 – sound backward-looking. Because they don’t, although it’s sometimes a close-run thing. On standout tracks such as the muscular ‘Get The Devil Out’ or with the skittering pop of ‘That’s What You Get’, they’re taking inspiration from what’s gone before rather than sounding in thrall to it.

To which you might add more prosaically that Inferiority Complex is also an album born within Manchester’s DIY scene, which sometimes shows in a roughness in the production. Yossari Baby’s label Alphaville was co-founded by The Quietus contributor and promoter Hayley Scott alongside Kane Martin and George Robbins of Threads, another band with post-punk stylings. There’s a strong sense here of people searching for secret places in the city that haven’t yet been co-opted by developers and using these spaces to make their own fun.

And to move, because much of Inferiority Complex has been made with the dancefloor firmly in mind, beats to the fore. The title track is an electropop highlight, while ‘The Wheel’ quite possibly wants to spin you round like Dead Or Alive in their hi-nrg pomp. For all that, there are more reflective moments too, notably as the album plays out with gentler electronica on the delightfully po-faced ‘Je Suis Mort’. On the contrary, by turns funny, angry and arch, Yossari Baby sound vibrantly alive.