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Inanis Yoake - Omoide/Memorie

Omoide/Memorie is the debut release from Inanis Yoake, a duo featuring Simone Skeleton (guitars, vocals, sounds) and Risa Hara (piano, synths, vocals) aided by two better known musicians in the form of Tony Wakeford (Sol Invictus, Crisis) and Lloyd James (Naevus, Crisis). I believe Simone is also a current member of Naevus but I could be wrong. Inanis Yoake only formed this year and Omoide/Memorie was recorded at home during lockdown and I suspect this is their first batch of songs and while it doesn't feel it should be regarded as a proper album the events surrounding its recording are matched in the gloomy arrangements and somewhat restrained delivery. With Tony Wakeford and Lloyd James providing lead vocals to 5 of the 7 tracks Omoide/Memorie isn't without merit though.

Amidst the crackle of fire, 'The Burning Eye' opens the album with sparse and loose skeletal guitars and the distinct tones of Tony Wakeford. In an impassioned voice Wakeford sings of a passionless, unflinching, uncaring world as guitars meander in a loose folk tinged sound sprinkled with ringing notes and plaintive chords, surrounded by the background spoken vocals of Risa Hara. It sets the scene for this raw, recording of short songs, which often sounds like unembellished sketches.

Against the roll of thunderous drums 'All Against All' enters with booming bass and spacious atmospheric guitars as an impassioned Tony Wakeford voice rises complaining about the current state of the world. "Nation against nation, race against race", he declares almost recalling 'Fields', a Death In June / Sol Invictus track where Wakeford demanded no wars amongst brothers. The whole track evokes early Sol Invictus replacing an acoustic strum with waves of spindly, atmospheric guitar work. Wakeford's natural pessimism runs rampant here, backed by curt spoken vocals ending on a squawk from his pet cockatiel, which might just be Fred's musical debut.

There's no joy to be found with life ending in tragedy whether lead by a cruel God or not but as 'The Devil's Charm' attests, Wakeford excels in these downbeat moments and 'The Devil's Charm' is another where over clipped strum, his morose tones are draped over his distinct running bass lines and piano melody as he sings of life in decay wrapped in a sweet metaphor of love described as being like treacle. There's something worthwhile to be found in these songs which set Tony Wakeford and as we'll see Lloyd James placed in a non-acoustic setting.

Brittle strummed chords surround 'Everything Bad' filled with Lloyd James poised intonations with clever, oblique wordplay. Devoid of rhythm, this is a stark ballad, as Lloyd James sings "Your relentless reproach, Undermines my approach, You took away my song, And so I sing this one" accompanied by both jangly and wistful strum, bass tones and gentle, tumbling piano notes. There's something reassuring about Lloyd James' vocal delivery. On 'There Is No Hill' his half-sung, half-spoken delivery is couched in quickened strum and piano. His restrained performance sits nicely here comparing a life and a body, that falters and fails in the briefest and most accomplished of arrangements, complete with a neat simple electric guitar outro.

Interspersed between tracks from the guest vocalists is 'Father' the first of two tracks fronted by Simone Skeleton of Inanis Yoake on lead vocals. With lurking synth noise (provided by Lloyd James) and rudimentary drum machine rhythm, 'Father' is much more discordant as Simone Skeleton murmurs utterances of a peaceful nature, surrounded by arcs of noise emitting from the guitar and metallic bashing pounding like a hammer striking an anvil. Its more downbeat carrying a lot of dissonance before the voices of Skeleton and Hara entwine on the closing over tinkering piano chime. The closing track,'Wasted Lies', is bleaker still with Skeleton's wafting distant voice shadowed by a humming melody from Lloyd James over a raw, twangy strum and minimal piano score. Hesitant and reserved it retains that gloomy edge which permeates much of Omoide/Memorie.

It is a worthwhile but unrefined outing for this project but there's a rawness to the recording that is refreshing and it's good to hear Tony Wakeford and Lloyd James in songs so unadorned and outside of their usual acoustic settings. Tony Wakeford's contributions recall some of Sol Invictus' early recordings and Lloyd James' contributions are assured and quite fine too. As a calling card it's more than welcome but I'd like to hear something more complete, something more polished. Hats off to Inanis Yoake for producing something during this awkward period and for a mere £5 Omoide/Memorie is worth a listen and a purchase. Omoide/Memorie is available to stream and download from the Inanis Yoake bandcamp page.