From: Montréal, Québec
Story: Anglo//Asian stoner-rock//opera
Sound: Sprawling, proggy psychedelia
Yamantaka//Sonic Titan's self-titled debut album has recently come to scores more attention than it initially received on its self-made, Bandcamp-released initial arrival in 2011. That's largely due to its nomination for the 2012 Polaris Prize, from which they skipped to a new record deal with Paper Bag (Canadian home of Moonface, The Luyas, and Austra, amongst others).
The band's curious bisected name is a reflection of the Anglo-Asian heritage of the pair (Ruby Kato Attwood and Alaska B). That Anglo-Asian split goes deep in the homage of their name, which draws from Boredoms on one side, and legendary stoner-rockers Sleep on the other.
Yamantaka//Sonic Titan draw, directly, from stoner rock and psychedelia, but they're also hopelessly devoted to prog-rock (as the organ solo in the opening half of "Reverse Crystal//Murder of a Spider" attest), and fashioned their first album as a bona fide rock opera. Hell, they've just made an actual opera, with Opera 33 about to première at Pop Montreal.
If this introduction seems to be a little tardy, given the Y//ST LP came out last year, it also feels timely. This is a band hurtling towards their moment in the spotlight, poised on the verge of something big in outfits built around bikinis and face-paint. They're ready for fame, infamy, or the apocalypse; whatever comes first.