In 1982, New York post-punk band Ike Yard signed to Factory America, a briefly-existing offshoot of Factory Records. But like so many Factory projects, this label released only a handful of releases before folding. Though the band’s existence at the time proved equally as short-lived, their debut album has since grown in cult status. Superior Viaduct have reissued both their self-titled debut album and their 1981 Les Disques Du Crépuscule release, Night After Night. Even though they greatly differ from each other, both releases offer up a satisfying slice of post-punk mood.
Listening to Night After Night, It’s easy to understand why the band gravitated to the Factory Records universe, the Joy Division and A Certain Ratio influence undeniable. The five songs offered here do follow the label’s formula; “Night After Night” is pure post-punk dance groove. It’s the sort of song one hears at a theme night and sends you searching it out; there’s good reason it has become a staple of obscure post-punk classics. “Sense of Male” is doom and gloom; angular rhythms, brooding vocals, and staccato percussion, it sounds like 1981. Not bad, but not particularly distinctive, either. “Infra-ton” and “Motiv” are two amorphous instrumentals that meander a bit, while “Cherish” returns to structural song form, offering buzzing guitars and morbid singing. Night After Night offers some good moments, even though ultimately it proves a bit formulaic.
Ike Yard, their debut LP, would change all that. Ditching the heavy goth sound, Ike Yard offers pure futuristic vision. It’s also quite stark; though that term gets bandied about, the music here truly is minimalist, The album is highly groove-oriented, too; try resisting the call to the dancefloor offerings “Loss” and “Cherish 8,” won’t ya? Meanwhile, “Kino” mixes the moodiness of Night After Night with this newfound futurism, and it sounds damn fine, too. The group circa 1982 possesses a unique sound with very few contemporaries, save for perhaps Pylon, Liquid Liquid, Public Image Limited, and The Wolfgang Press.
In spite of their futuristic sound, Ike Yard concluded shortly after the release of Ike Yard. Yet they would rise again; in 2007, the band reformed as a three-piece following the release of a well-received compilation of the band’s early material. Since then, Ike Yard has released two full-length albums and a handful of singles. These two early releases document a band truly ahead of their time.
Purchase Ike Yard Night After Night/Ike Yard: Superior Viaduct