Yoko & the Oh No's are three friends from Chicago: Max Goldstein on vocals, Max Loebman on guitar, and Stef Roti on drums, a raging trio seemingly fueled by Taco Bell, rock & roll myths, and pilfered booze.
It doesn't quite jive how kids this young (Max L. just graduated high school) managed to tap into a vibe this classic. The band's S/T full-length debut is crammed with classic rock riffs, swinging beats, and up front, the sassy, done-up style of Max G. emoting loosely and widly like a young David Johanson, possessing a crooner's voice and a taste for style. Dolled up in flashy get-ups, Max G.'s voice is a growly, beefy thing, a rangy tenor that belies his taste for soul shouters. The prevailing mood in modern indie garage rock is one of stylistic indifference, but that's not how Yoko & the Oh No's come across; these kiddos don't just care, they care a lot.
Listen to the crashing classic rock chorus of "Heart Attack," the sneering "She Knows It," and the distorted R&B groove of "Nobody Wants to Know." "Talking over radio/on the moonlit drive/We listen to VU/Jane says close your eyes," Max G. sings lovelorn until the brutal kiss-off: "Nobody wants to know if you're telling lies, 'cause I'm dead to you." Max G. sells each lyric the way only a hopped up teen could, and Max L. and Stef crank out the jams behind him like Marc Bolan or the Spiders from Mars, with a barely contained energy and strutting attitude.
Yoko & the Oh No's S/T album is their first for Autumn Tone Records, which has a knack for finding raw young bucks (turn up records by the Orwells, Twin Peaks, and Modern Vices as a testament). Yoko & the Oh No's recently went on tour with likeminded rock & roll weirdos The Growlers, blowing minds and connecting with crowds across the Midwest.