What do you get if you cross The Hold Steady with Coldplay? Don’t want to know? Tough, Yen Harley have gone and done it for you. The Substance Of Things tries hard to sound big and powerful but ends up sounding shallow and inconsequential. Sure, they’ll pass the time quite nicely in a brown café somewhere in the flat lands on a Friday night and they’re certainly good at what they do. It just so happens that what they’re good at is sounding like a mix of The Hold Steady and Coldplay and I’m not sure anybody’s ever asked for that, anywhere, ever. I’m pretty sure that recipe hasn’t appeared in any rock and roll cookbook before but I suppose it will have to now. Thanks Yen Harley.
If that sounds like I’m being a little unfair then, yes, I probably am but let’s take a good look at what we’ve got here. Decent, well crafted pub rock. Nothing more, nothing less. I’ll be more than happy to catch a set of their in the backroom of a bar some time, but I wouldn’t invite them round to the house for drinks afterwards. If they want to get out of the bar and into my home, then they’ll have to think bigger. But then again, the Hold Steady and Coldplay are both really popular, so what the fuck do I know?
Investigate at your own risk.