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.