Yakuza Heart Attack
Gig Seeker Pro

Yakuza Heart Attack


Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Yakuza Heart Attack: Yakuza Heart Attack"

Nothing like a healthy dose of 8-bit action to tickle your earbuds and fire your electro synapses. You can label it as whatever kind of gimmick you’d like to, but the “NES-core” movement is moving faster than a cheetah that’s just been promised a lifetime supply of pre-killed gazelles if it breaks its species’ speed record.

Don’t waste your time trying to think of how fast that cheetah would be running (you’ll never be able to do it), but, rather, consider a band like Yakuza Heart Attack. For the most part, YHA’s math/new-wave/prog/bit-pop hybrid leaves the gimmicks to the gimmicky and cuts a few trails of its own. On their debut LP, the Dayton, Ohio quartet blazes through 34 minutes of music Nintendo would love to license. The form, not unlike Deerhoof’s Friend Opportunity, leaves only a few moments for rest. This record is a concise microcosm of a surprising amount of what’s good in instrumental electronic music. Theme and variations persist throughout; a myriad of synth leads weave between reworked melody after reworked melody, with revolving and modulating chord progressions that sound lifted right off King Crimson's Larks’ Tongues in Aspic. Lovely drum compression (think Menomena-style) adds a terrific wash to the back of these tracks, something unusual for this type of music.

There are a few moments that you’ll find yourself spoiled by YHA’s lavishness. “Material Destruction,” while containing a clever melody and enjoyable time signatures, is lacking in sonic merriment. The Queen influence is also felt, for better or for worse, on “Dreaming Frequencies,” with what sounds like a tripped-out version of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I’m still on the fence about that one.

While Yakuza Heart Attack is pretty fun to hear at any time, it was practically made for playing Super Smash Brothers. No joke. With the possible exception of The Elektric Band, it’s hard to find better music to smash to -- that is, until YHA release their follow-up, which will either be a survey of a train wreck or a blueprint of synthesized hypnosis. Stay tuned.

1. Double Death Journey2. Yakuza Heart Attack3. The Mongering4. Voyage To A Prehistoric Planet5. Kudasal Rocket 6. Evil Brain7. Material Destruction8. Imperial Rainbow9. Dreaming Frequencies10. The Atomic Rulers - Tiny Mix Tapes - Benjamin Bernstein

"Yakuza Heart Attack: Yakuza Heart Attack"

The Nintendo Entertainment System is responsible for more music careers than anyone would care to admit. Bands spring up all the time to give rock twists on Mario theme songs, other times groups using 16-bit keyboards to weave together stylish indie-pop (Airport 81, Tree Wave, etc.). Yakuza Heart Attack falls in the later category. The only problem with NES bands is the fact that they often don’t have enough ideas to fuel a whole album. Their self-titled debut works best when it’s messing around with genres, like the total 60s-rock inspired “Dreaming Frequencies”—lost somewhere between a dreamy Beatles epic and Queen guitar solos (all before it levels up into a double-time dance crunch half-way through). The wistful “Material Destruction” works well, but it’s “The Mongering” that steals the show, coming off like Weezer trapped inside a Gameboy and knowing that rocking is the only way to break out. However, the rest of the album falls into half-there instrumentals that are good but not thumb-twitchingly great. The group has got chops and a keen sense of melodicism, but one can’t help but feel that this would work better as an EP instead of a full-length album. They haven’t achieved the MegaMan rock-opera grandeur of the Protomen, but there’s a good chance that Yakuza Heart Attack might level up soon.
- Pop Matters - Evan Sawdey

"Yakuza Heart Attack – II album release"

Recently I was alerted to one Squid’s Eye Records. Knowing my love for most cephalopods was a good way to get my attention, but even better than that was sending over the sophomore release from SE Records group Yakuza Heart Attack. II is the name of their second album appropriately enough, and is available for download at $9 via the Squid’s Eye Records Store.

Ten tracks of heavy, yet catchy rhythms. The best description I could come up with is if Chromelodeon was lead by an Earthbound era Hip Tanaka. The eerie but upbeat sounds created by the synths, and live drums create a fun adventurous atmosphere. From the ominous and driving opener Beast Attack to the battle theme inspired Tears of the Judge the album definitely has it’s in your face moments. Although a personal favorite of mine is Goodbye Rainbow Road, which starts off with a trapeze like playfulness, which breaks into an an eclectic piece that gives off the mood of a colorful NES era sidescroller.

Another stand out track is the pulsing Scarlet Moon. The quick paced track would be at home in any futuristic racer or side scrolling shoot-em-up. Also the surprisingly somber Mist Monster, with it’s slow wispy tones would be the perfect instrumental during the most dramatic of video game scenes. The album ends as it Began though, with the strong and tense final track, appropriately titled Heart Pounding Prison. The track builds and builds into the stratosphere until it reaches the spiraling climax and then slowly fades into a stirring drum lead ending, shooting flourishes of sound every which way until we reach the opening notes once again and rise up into a final beat. The end.

The album is a bit steep at $9 but is definitely worth checking out, it has been getting repeated listens from me, and will probably make my list of stand out albums this year. Head over to Squid’s Eye Records to grab a copy, or try before you taste over at Yakuza Heart Attack’s myspace.
- genoboost

"Yakuza's so good"

combined these kids have stumbled on a sound so original that its description is beyond the confines of formal English. I call them refined instrumental synth-rock, but there’s more to it.

They consist of two keyboard synthesizers that provide the melody, a sliding hairy bass, and a crafty and specifically powerful drummer. They played songs built around the two tiny keyboards that paint the listeners ear like an impressionist with abstract melodies in the mood of carnivals, video games, and horror movies. - Dayton Daily News - Kris Neises


"Yakuza Heart Attack" - Squidseye Records
"Yakuza Heart Attack II" - Squidseye Records



The members of Yakuza Heart Attack have been playing in various Dayton bands for years (Jet Kid Committee, Five Deadly Venoms) but came together as an outlet for more progressive, compositionally based tunes in early 2005. Each member of the Heart Attack has an intense love for a variety of artists, which conveniently merge into melodic, keyboard driven art rock. Sounds good!? Check them out if you like: enormous synthesizers, video games, early electronic music, sheer beauty, and four men sweating...