Yoshimoto’s songs are all constructed like rollercoasters: They build gradually, slow and controlled at first, ratcheting up a near-90-degree angle ascent. Guitarist and vocalist Tiffany Farias, who initially carries herself like a concert violinist — fully composed, perfect posture and finger placement — best exemplifies the aesthetic of the songs’ first sections. But then drummer Mauricio Gudiño slows the tempo to a final few tap-tap-taps, the last few clicks of the towing chain, the point where your stomach plummets in anticipation of the unseen drop to come. Sometimes Farias even puts her hands above her head in anticipation.
Then the shock of descending that first hill. Farias, guitarist-vocalist Zach Sokoloski, and bassist Jason Butterworth (whose ABBA shirt absolutely has to be ironic) all slam their strings in almost-unison as though they’ve only made a tacit agreement as to the time signature. Sokoloski screams and rants while Farias and Butterworth sling their instruments violently.
If Yoshimoto’s music conforms to the rollercoaster cliché, then it’s a rollercoaster in which the pieces of track are dropping into place at the last possible second with just the faintest hint of design. Sokoloski and Farias stretch languid guitar lines out across Gudiño’s filed-firing-pin staccato, but they somehow nearly never snap. You only realize it all works when the ride’s over and everyone’s survived. A few of the fans on the front row shimmy like they’re on the Bonham dance floor, shielding their eyes with the heels of their hands. Others hug and kiss one another, seemingly irrespective of sexes.
Yoshimoto’s sound itself incorporates elements of doom and stoner metal into a free-form post-punk fuzz. Post-punk is a mostly meaningless genre designation, but here its use is purposefully vague, acknowledging only that punk was a thing that happened but that Yoshimoto’s crafting mutations, working to evolve past it. The song structures are similar, but each one jerks in an unexpected direction in its final act, like a movie M. Night Shyamalan might make after he’d been infected with rabies. What’s hopefully coming across here is how much fun it is. Sokoloski solos with his tongue hanging out, for Christ’s sake; he drops to his knees by the speaker to generate screeching feedback like a kid annoying his parents with a recorder.
The show ends exactly the way it should, with a row full of fans dog-piling Sokoloski, dragging him off the stage into a sweaty group hug. What’s hopefully coming across here too is how much potential this has, how important Yoshimoto might become. You need to go see them.
— Jeremy Martin
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