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Uppers and Downers

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Album Review

Coming off as a less pretentious or cartoonish version of Rancid, the Yo-Yo's debut is chalked full of the big sweaty choruses, high energy guitar attack, and undeniably sharp songwriting hooks that made the former heroes of the punk revival scene. Danny McCormack, formerly of UK faves the Wildhearts, has seamlessly transplanted the best elements of what made his previous work so successful. Though certainly not dabbling in ska or reggae, the Yo-Yo's purist brand of backwards glancing punk rock is both well-polished and edgy, with excellent four-part harmonies betraying any sense of amateurish ethic. Certainly, they make little effort to hide their more pop-influenced tendencies, as elements of surf music and mod rock occasionally turn up. There may not be any manifestos lurking in the shouted choruses of "Head Over Heels," the over-amped rockabilly riffing of "Rumble(d)," or the simplistic "Sunshine Girl," but good punk rock has rarely been too terribly cerebral. What remains is one of the purest blasts of tuneful punk rock spirit to emerge in recent years, and those wishing that the genre had never progressed past 1979 should take notice. More than anything, the Yo-Yo's prove that it can still be fun to pogo down the same well-worn road.


Formed: 1998

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

British punk quartet the Yo-Yo's were formed in 1998 by singer/bassist Danny McCormack following his exit from the metal band the Wildhearts. While singing backing vocals during a session for his heroes Toy Dolls, McCormack recruited ex-Sugar Snatch vocalist/guitarist Tom Spencer, and with the addition of drummer Bladder, the trio set about looking for a lead guitarist, finally settling on the B Movie Heroes' Neil Phillips. The Yo-Yo's debut single, "(You Got Me) Out of My Mind," appeared on the...
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Uppers and Downers, The Yo-Yo's
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