Lately, I’ve (re)discovered a lot of defunct bands. One of these is Yaphet Kotto. The band was from California and existed between 1996 and 2005. Members are/were also involved in bands such as Look Back And Laugh, Saviours, Never Healed, Moralyson, and Baader Brains.
Yaphet Kotto are a reason why I love emotive hardcore and everything associated to it. They played a very authentic form of emo and were definitely unique in their existence. There are a lot of things to love about this band. First of all the duet vocals, sung and screamed. I know other bands do this aswell, but Yaphet Kotto did it in a very special way: the duet vocals totally fit to the music and expanded the dynamics in songs. Second of all, the instrumental work. The melodies are something out of this world, everything falls in place perfectly and supports the duet vocals. The whole mix sounds more passionate than anything you’ve heard before. Third of all, the lyrics. They’re intelligent and full of social and political awareness. And the way the vocalist sing/scream these lyrics, it’s as if they had only a few seconds left to live and give it all they have.
For the tl;dr people: Yaphet Kotto are simply better and more passionate than most bands. Ever since I heard this band (and I admit it was not too long ago until I really got into them), my whole view on emotional hardcore music changed.
I’ve managed to get the first two full-lengths in a short time for a really good deal on each one. I spent a little bit less than normal retail prices for each. Both records were released by Ebullition Records.
The Killer Was In The Government Blankets 12″
This is the band’s first LP, released in 1999. This is the record that made me fall in love with Yaphet Kotto. Evertyhing is perfect about it. I managed to get a copy of the white press, limited to 109 copies. It was included in the Ebullition boxset which was released in 2000. I don’t understand why anyone would split this boxset up, though. The record comes in a normal sleeve with a insert.
Syncopated Synthetic Laments For Love 12″
The second LP released two years later in 2001, which is almost as good as the first record. Once again, I managed to get the white press, this time included in the first press run, limited to 525 copies. This comes in a gatefold sleeve with the lyrics printed on the inside of the sleeve.
If you have ever heard Yaphet Kotto, the way you see screamo/emotional hardcore will be changed forever.