YOL - Headless Chicken Shits Out Skull Shaped Egg (CDr album)


Idwal Fisher:

I did wonder if Yol would eventually run out of steam and set sail on a series of musique concrete albums in which he forgoes his slaver specked outbursts for a life of Pierre Schaeffer contemplation. On ‘Headless Chicken Shits Out Skull Shaped Egg’ he not only proves me wrong but creates one of the most violent, spleen venting diatribes against everyday mundanity I’ve yet to hear. If you thought the Sleaford Mods were angry you need to hear Yol.

Take for instance ‘Filling The Cash Machine’ in which Yol screams ‘Someone has kissed the cash machine!’ against the robotic rebuttal of ‘the number you have dialed has not been recognised’ add in the inhuman bleep of self service check out aisles and you have some idea of where Yol is going here.

He’s still kicking the Dictaphone around and the mop bucket and the egg slicer and then there’s the vomiting into plastic buckets and the scraping of fork tines so as to set your teeth on edge and plenty of other sounds that are becoming Yol signatures but here he seems even more desperate and dangerous and out of control. It would appear that with every Yol release’s passing he’s becoming ever more rabid.

He screams ‘Your call is very important to us!’ before retching his guts up. On ‘Trying To Wash Your Hands of it All’ he introduces the sound of running water before screaming ‘You’re fucking tapped you are, you’re fucking tapped!’ into a stainless steel sink that he’s attacking with a whisk. A ritual of sorts. A cleansing. At two minutes in length it frays the nerves like little else I’ve ever heard. The nearest it comes to in shock value is Rudolph eb.er’s notorious ‘For Stringquintet and Asstrumpet’ in which the boundaries between entertainment and all out sadism are forever blurred. Its this blurring of the boundaries that gives Yol his power. Are you listening to someone having a nervous breakdown or are you listening to someone recording their new album?

Johnny Cash makes a distorted and unruly appearance on ‘Lunch, Discussing the Commute’ albeit for a short moment before Yol unleashes a roar of such cathartic and primeval power that you have to wonder if his lungs weren’t raw by the time he’d finished. Put this down to the Filthy Turd influence.

Whose collaboration with was going to happen sooner or later. They’ve performed live together and appear well suited, the Dictaphone, the chaos, the bleeding into distortion rockabilly track, the scrape and the feedback the out of control-ness of it all. The two fifteen minute-ish tracks on ‘Down The Plughole’ are manna from the litter strewn streets of Hull and Burslem. On the first track Yol blurts out ‘Down the plughole’ and something about scratch cards as banks of shitty ghetto blasters pump out gallons of dubbed into submission noise cassettes. The second track is the live capture of their intense performance at this years Crater Lake Fest. What starts out quietly with finger cymbals being chucked about and unaccompanied shouting soon develops into something far more crazed until Hank Mizell’s Jungle Rock obliterates everything. I was there my friends, the day lives with me still.

But back to ‘Headless Chicken Shits Out Skull Shaped Egg’ for a moment. Take a listen to the last track ‘After The Crash’, a four minute capture of a small Tinguely sculpture going through its motions, a clumping machine with a potato stuck in it going thump every now and then, the creak of leather oar straps, a muffled clanging, the squeak of a shed door opening and closing and no shouting. Its a momentous moment and also one of the best tracks on the album. Put it down to Schaeffer perhaps?