header: Reviews

Reviews for [RL15]
Yes Sensei "What I Do Best is What I Do Worst"

  • Impact Aug/Sep 2003
    "With a name like Yes Sensei, I can't help but think of The Karate Kid, and I can't help but think of the members of Yes Sensei kicking the crap of Ralph Macchio. These guys play some bad ass, raw, energetic indie rock that reminds me of the Jesus Lizard in their prime. Where's your Miyagi now, bitch?" -(CL)

  • New Island Ear 2002
    "Anyone familiar with the martial arts will recognize the term "yes sensei" as a compliant response to an instructor. Chances are, this trio (which includes illustrious Rok Lok Records founder Mike Andriani) wouldn't obey an instructor very well at one of its practices. Yes Sensei is rowdier than a bunch of kids with lawnmowers, and they don't turn off the motor throughout these eight blistering tracks that bring the noise of Sonic Youth, the Jesus Lizard and Unwound. Andriani screams and shouts over his discordant guitar while Paul Como and Dave Elliott pile up the rhythm section along with "Philly cheesesteak" and "tuna melt". The song titles on "What I Do Best is What I Do Worst" sound slightly satirical "Let's Pretend We are One of the Cool Kids" and "Oh My God! It's a Pterodactyl" and they seem to go hand in hand with the band's ear-aching blasts. The last track, "Some Lead Singer With Glasses" (possibly a stab at emo?), is a live recording that puts Yes Sensei's abilities to the test, showing that what they do best is kick rock just below the belt." -Kenyon Hopkin

  • Verbicide #15
    How to describe Yes Sensei? Let’s start with the word "bizarre" and move from there. For once, I can say I’ve heard a band that wears their influences on their sleeves without sounding like they’re imitating anyone. How do they pull it off? By culling influences ranging from noise rocking no-wavers Sonic Youth, jazz musician Ornette Coleman, and indie heavyweights from the ‘80s (The Minutemen) and ‘90s (Jesus Lizard)–I also tend to hear guitar-rock elements of Jawbox springing up amid the stop-and-start tempo. Yet, despite the breadth of influence, they have an artsy-hardcore sound all their own. This is a re-release of their mid-2002 debut CDEP, and should appeal very well to the post-screamo hardcore crowd targeted by Level Plane Records bands, such as Hot Cross and Transistor Transistor–both of whom have shared the stage with Yes Sensei. With lots of touring and promotion of all their releases (and re-releases), Yes Sensei are looking for some breakout success–and they’ve already got a decent back catalogue.-Jackson Ellis

  • Punk Planet #53 February 2003
    Chaotic post punk with a trace of garage fuzz that attracts with its simplistic approach to rocking the house. The instrumentals pummel while the yelled, distorted vocals add subsatnce. Tough enough to win over the hardcore crowd while giving the post hardcore/screamo crowd something to bop heads to. (Bart Niedzialkowski)