While rock and roll may not be dead, exactly, it certainly has been on “life support” for a VERY long time. However, in recent years, rock’s “critical condition” has been somewhat “downgraded,” as several authentic and exciting new bands have risen to prominence by pointing to noticeably, familiar-sounding, time-tested classic rock influences. U.K. poster boys, The Struts, have gone to great stylistic lengths to claim Queen’s royal rock throne, while U.S. trend-setters, Greta Van Fleet and Dirty Honey “borrow” boldly from the likes of Led Zeppelin and The Stones.
Then, there’s YYNOT — a mighty American alliance that perhaps can be described best as “the classic Rush you get (and crave) when you no longer can get classic Rush.” The bi-coastal, female-fronted, four-piece outfit first came together online as a Rush tribute project back in 2017. In the last two years, the band has been exploding nationwide — attracting crowds in the hundreds, if not thousands, consistently from LA to PA, from Dallas to Detroit and beyond. However, with the release of their acclaimed 2018 debut record, YYNOT proved more imposing as its own original music entity. In 2019 YYNOT returns with their spectacular ten-song sophomore set, Resonance. And what a gorgeous slab of solid rock it is.
Driven by the band’s guitarist / keyboardist / songwriter and producer, Billy Alexander, Resonance is fueled by rock-ribbed, precision guitar work, woven into engaging lyrics and glossed to perfection by hypnotic, irresistible melodies.
Even in our “Wildest Dreams” most of us could never be this awesome:
While Alexander’s lyrics are magically delicious, a great song often requires an equally magical messenger to convey the writer’s story effectively. In that regard, lead vocalist, Rocky Kuner, IS that messenger. Her pristine talent and angelic style makes her arguably the most superbly unique and alluring vocalist in rock today. And I’ll gladly stand by the assessment. As for the band’s powerhouse rhythm section, the combination of Tim Starace’s clean and throaty, signature-style bass chug and Joel Stevenett’s machine press drumming skills provide the gritty yin to Alexander and Kuner’s glorious yang.
Resonance kicks off strong with the “Bastille Day”-caliber, “Synergos.” Oozing unrelenting riffage, “Chemical Burn” is the record’s other equally rib-cracking instrumental.
World-class musical proficiency aside, the record shines brightly through Alexander’s passionate lyrics, translated masterfully by Kuner. In the heart-stopping, “Wildest Dreams,” Kuner proclaims, “Sing it to the top of your lungs. Who’s to say you’re not forever young? Sailing boasts across the sea. Imagine yourself living your wildest dreams.” That’s solid stuff, man.
This band is an “Open Book” for how to do progressive hard rock well:
Residing stylistically “over the hills and far away,” somewhere near where the “wires that vibrate and make music,” the track “Bully” fights for the distinction of Alexander’s most compelling composition, and along with the radio-friendly, “Heart and Soul,” competes for the record’s MVP honor.
A viewer on the band’s YouTube channel commented recently, “Not in my ‘wildest dreams’ did I ever think a band like YYNOT would ever come along again...reality is turning out to be so much better.” I sure wish I’d written that one.
In sum, Resonance ranks among the year’s finest rock records — proving YYNOT to be a truly extraordinary band with truly extraordinary songs.
Resonance Track Listing:
01. Synergos (3:10)
02. Wildest Dreams (4:13)
03. Bully (4:35)
04. Future Unknown (3:36)
05. Open Book (5:01)
06. Chemical Burn (5:13)
07. She Said I Love the Rain (4:17)
08. Heart and Soul (4:02)
09. Blind Luck (4:48)
10. Precious Time (5:01)
Run Time: 43:56 Release Date: September 14, 2019 Record Label: Independent