The Lo Yo Yo


The Lo Yo Yo Extra Weapons LP reissue

The LO YO YO splintered off from the UK musical collective FAMILY FODDER in 1984, upholding their parent group’s tendencies toward post-punk experimentation but de-emphasizing FAMILY FODDER’s detours into quirky, effervescent new wave (think “Savoir Faire”/“Debbie Harry”) in order to wander down more dub-adjacent side streets. “Bad Intentions” opens their 1985 LP Extra Weapons by carving out a bass-driven, stiff funk groove with DELTA 5/AU PAIRS parallels that are further underscored by vocalist Joey Stack’s no-nonsense delivery, while “All the Atrocities” sets an “Earthbeat”-era SLITS punky reggae rhythm to highly pointed, practically CRASS-worthy anti-colonial/anti-religious lyrics, and the Afrobeat-inspired “Learning to Fly” is overlaid with warbling synth and the subtle scratch of RAINCOATS-esque violin. “Cache-Cache” into “You Never Know” is a the unbeatable one-two punch of the LP, with the former’s airy male/female vocal trade-off and percolating beat colored in by understated keys and sax representing the LO YO YO’s stab at sprightly UK DIY pop à la TWELVE CUBIC FEET, and the latter’s loping, bouncy dub-punk rhythms and anthemic vocals evoking the more experimental ’80s anarcho-femme faction (ANDROIDS OF MU, HONEY BANE’s “Guilty” single, etc.). Not an easy band to pin down and that’s a positive thing; free your mind.