Superior Viaduct / US / 2020 / 12"
New York no-wavers Ike Yard are perhaps best known for being the first American band signed to Factory Records, and it isn't difficult to hear why: the group's music has much in common with the existential frigidness of Joy Division and early New Order as well as the mutant noise-funk of Section 25 and A Certain Ratio. That said, the sound of Night After Night, the band's debut EP, is one that could only have emerged from the lawless dystopia of '70s New York City.
Vocalist/percussionist Stuart Argabright, guitarist Michael Diekmann, vocalist/bassist Kenny Compton and synth player Fred Szymanski traffic in a particularly foreboding rhythmic tension, creating in the process an unlikely amalgam of minimal wave, industrial and post-punk.
Recorded shortly after forming in 1980 and originally released on seminal Brussels imprint Les Disques Du Crépuscule, Night After Night suggests an alternate history in which Tobe Hooper and Jah Wobble provided the soundtrack to The Warriors. The atmosphere throughout is thick. Every cymbal is dubbed-out and spacey; every vocal utterance treated, alien and detached.
Fans of Chrome's damaged ice machine-guitar or Suicide's menacing, anything-can-happen m.o. will rejoice in the siren-sounds, metal clanging and metronomic death-pulse of "Sense of Male," while “Infra-ton" evokes the cacophonous rattle of gates being pulled down over bodega storefronts and the screech of subway brakes. Side two kicks off with "Motiv's" mechanical dread, and the squelchy din of "Cherish" recasts The Residents as streetwise, urban punks.
Night After Night remains primal evidence of the dank, uncompromising narcotica of Ike Yard's embryonic period.
This first-time reissue comes with original sleeve design.