Yeah Yeah Noh

  • Yeah Yeah Noh
  • Cottage Industry EP (UK In Tape) 1984 
  • Prick Up Your Ears EP (UK In Tape) 1984 
  • Weakling Lines EP (UK In Tape) 1984 
  • Cutting the Heavenly Lawn of Greatness ... Last Rites for the God of Love (UK In Tape) 1985 
  • Temple of Convenience EP (UK In Tape) 1985 
  • When I Am a Big Girl (UK In Tape) 1985 
  • Fun on the Lawn Lawn Lawn (UK Vuggum) 1986 
  • The Peel Sessions EP (UK Strange Fruit) 1987 

Like In Tape labelmates the Creepers, this Leicester quartet (later quintet) displays some Fall influence (albeit less harsh) and makes things easy for record buyers by combining several releases onto a single disc. When I Am a Big Girl reprises the first three EPs in their entirety and has such highlights as “Cottage Industry,” “Prick Up Your Ears” and “Starling Pillowcase and Why” which, like the rest of the record’s songs, are unpolished, raw pop gems with smartass lyrics. Cymbal-less drums and chunky bass lines form a foundation for modest guitar work and Derek Hammond’s deadpan baritone. Great fun.

Cutting the Heavenly Lawn of Greatness adds some well-placed psychedelic embellishments and a little (but just a wee bit) more production to the homespun sound. Lyrics are sharp as ever: “Home-Ownersexual” is the clever tale of a bored, dissatisfied housewife; “Stealing in the Name of the Lord” decries religious hypocrisy. Some earlier tracks pop up again in new versions, and the LP also contains the title track from the Temple of Convenience EP. Sadly, Yeah Yeah Noh disbanded upon that release but left behind a catalogue of great records, permeated with real DIY spirit, warmth and humor.

Fun on the Lawn Lawn Lawn is a posthumous collection of various sessions for John Peel’s radio program. (Yeah Yeah Noh were one of his faves. One session, from January 1986, was also released by Strange Fruit.) It includes versions of most of their best tracks (“Home-Ownersexual” is listed as “Another Side of Mrs. Quill”) and a few songs that are otherwise unavailable.

[David Sheridan]