YYNOT – “YYNOT”
(Indie Release / 6.1.18)
Written by Christopher Long
Many of today’s most promising and appealing young rock bands are smeared from ear-to-ear with the stylistic DNA of legendary artists from the past. While the celebrated British brigade, The Struts, appear to be a legit, modern-day recreation of Queen and U.S. darling, Greta Van Fleet, “barrows” in abundance from Led Zeppelin, the Illinois-based combo, The Fantastic Plastics, points to Devo for their quirky pop-driven inspiration. As for YYNOT, the four-piece American alliance can perhaps be described best as “the classic Rush you get (and crave) when you no longer can get classic Rush.” Although the popular bi-coastal outfit first came together online as a Rush tribute project, the band shines brightest as its own original music entity. Case in point, their stunningly brilliant self-titled debut record.
First and foremost, YYNOT’s musical badass-factor can NOT be denied. Typically brandishing a vintage ‘69 Gibson ES-335 and a ‘77 Rickenbacker, songwriter / producer / guitarist Billy Alexander and bassist Tim Starace are the “real deal,” through and through. Similarly, the drum work of studio players, Chris Moore and Tony Morra, as well as official full-time member, Joel Stevenett, is delivered with total Peart-like authenticity. As for 20-year-old frontwoman, Rocky Kuner, the California native is a charming breath of fresh air — a delicate delight — a musical gift from God. Her Geddy-inspired vocals are honest and pure — passionate and exciting.
But, as they say, “If you ain’t got songs, you ain’t got jack.” And in that regard, this nine-song set delivers in spades — residing stylistically somewhere between A Farewell to Kings and Permanent Waves — peppered to perfection with zesty dashes of 2112. Steeped in prog-style precision, the songs also ooze infectious, sing-along likability and will also fit comfortably in a commercial radio format. Of the record’s many highlights, “Invisible Heart,” “Kingdom Come” and “The Curtain Falls” serve as the most powerful earworms.
In sum, for true classic rock aficionados, the debut from YYNOT just might be the most irresistible seduction of 2018 — emotional feedback on a timeless wavelength, to be sure.
This band and album are musts for any fan of Rush. The band started in a very unique way. Bassist, Tim Starace, and guitarist, Billy Alexander happened to bump into each other on online. Alexander saw videos of Starace playing spot on perfect Rush covers, and contacted him about an online collaboration for Rush covers. They connected, added singer, Rocky Kuner and a drummer, and began making covers together and posting them. Soon, Rush fans worldwide began gobbling up everything the band put out. Along with new drummer, Joel Stevenett, they then began writing originals, which the fans also loved. Whenever the band plays a concert, people come from all over the planet to see them. Their debut album is self-recorded, produced, and distributed. And, it was done via email because the band members all live in different parts of the country.
The album is a collection of Rush influenced originals that range style wise from classic 2112 to the later Rush sounds. The song *Kingdom Come* for example, could have easily come from 2112. It has a musical intro that when you hear it, you’ll wonder which Rush song you missed over the years. While straight-up progressive rock, some of the songs have a commercial hook to them that could even attract the top 40 listeners.* Run on Love*, *The Curtain Falls*, and *To Come Back Home* could all be radio hits. *’Etheria, Another Trip Around The Sun, Hourglass, *and *Invisible Heart *are all prog rock masterpieces. It’s 9 songs that will make you forget that Rush has stopped making albums and touring.
Everything is perfect from the guitar sounds to the ethereal sound effects. The musicianship is top shelf, and while the vocals fit the Geddy Lee mold, Rocky has her own beautiful style. YYNOT could easily be the next big progressive rock band. They certainly fill the void that Rush left when they retired. Its just a matter of time before the members of Rush endorse
this band, and they have already been contacted by several record labels. It’s simple. Love Rush? You’ll love YYNOT. This album belongs in your CD rack right next to all your Rush albums.
Check out all their Rush covers on YouTube
Buy the CD https://yynot.bandzoogle.com/home
Written by: Bill Selby