Album Review: Yonaka – Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow

Release Date: May 31, 2019

Yonaka has been pegged the best new rock band since they hit the scene with their 2017 EP Heavy. Now, their highly anticipated debut album is finally here and it shows the band is more than ready to take over the masses. The album is full of the wild energy, fearlessness, and intense nature that turned heads. They not only fully explore their blend of rock, pop, and dance, frontwoman Theresa Jarvis gets personal about her mental health for an album that’s thoughtful, relatable, and an all-around good time.

Yonaka doesn’t hold back and lets their ferocious sound loose all over the album. They get heavy on “Awake,” a reworking of their debut single “Ignorance. Its creeping riff is foreboding, building up tension until everything explodes during the memorable hook. The infectious “Lose Our Heads” celebrates living life to the fullest instead of wasting away on the couch. Its blend of upbeat dance and dirty rock gives it great energy with a hook that’ll be stuck in your head all day. Things take a dark turn on the bouncy “Wake Up.” Jarvis sings about gruesome nightmares filled with men in black, broken teeth, and being covered in blood. It sounds bad, but it has an oddly positive air with its refrain “remember, it’s just a bad dream.”

Jarvis is absolutely fierce on the flirtatious “Creature.” With an undeniable swagger, she plays a borderline obsessed seductress warning an unfortunate soul to run for their life. Still, her powerful voice and commanding force make her irresistible. The hip-hop infused “Guilty (For Your Love)” is about being there for someone even during the darkest of times. It’s an intense song with Jarvis describing being able to fight her monsters and inner demons with the support of her loyal lover. Things get upbeat on the raucous and energetic “Fired Up,” while “Punch Bag” shows what a hard-driving force the band is. These songs show the band’s bold attitude fiery nature, but we also get a glimpse at a more personal side as well.

The majority of the album finds Jarvis opening up about anxiety, depression and battling her personal demons. She sounds honest as she talks about anxiety as a disease that turns her into someone doesn’t recognize on “Bad Company.” She further explores this on the closing track “The Cure” describing it as a constant battle she doesn’t always win. She pleads for a cure as she sings “For a moment there, I forgot my name/Didn’t know where I was, didn’t know what to say/So I start to freeze, standing in the street/No one noticed me, no one noticed me/So I pray to God for it all to stop.” She gives us this raw look at what it’s like living with anxiety and depression reinforcing the message that others suffering the same are not alone.

She addresses her personal issues in such a gritty way, it strikes you at your core, especially if you’ve experienced the same. Still, she never sounds hopeless. She’s accepted her issues, yet knows she’ll make it through and that she’s not alone in this fight. This message rings true on the uplifting “Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow.” Jarvis begs someone in trouble to reach out whenever they need it and that they’re not alone. At times, the music is too reminiscent of Twenty One Pilots’ “Heathens,” but it’s a stellar song. Its message is an important reminder to reach out if you need someone to talk because you’re not alone.  These songs stand out not only because of how good they sound because they keep the mental health conversation going. It’s a reminder that you don’t have to go through it alone, that other people are going through the same thing.

Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow is an impressive debut from Yonaka and well worth the wait. The band is an unstoppable force full of energy and a not giving a shit attitude. The songs are vibrant, exciting, and irresistible. At the same time, it offers a thoughtful view on mental health issues without being bleak. For an album that talks about heavy subjects, it’s surprisingly upbeat. The songs feel like a good time with catchy hooks and infectious music that makes you want to dance. Jarvis’ positive outlook is empowering, reminding everyone they don’t have to suffer alone. It’s as if she’s saying everyone goes through these crappy experiences, so let’s go through it together and try to have a good time. With such a stunning debut, Yonaka proves they’re one of the most exhilarating rock bands in music today.

Yonaka - Don't Wait 'Til Tomorrow
  • Our Rating
4.5
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Ashley Perez Hollingsworth

Ashley Perez is a freelance music journalist based in Chicago. Her work has appeared on AXS, The Crypt 1331, Chicago Innerview, New City, The Millions, and Reality-Comics. She also runs her own music blog at Radio Not Found. Some of her favorite bands include Nirvana, The Cure, Muse, Marilyn Manson, and Green Day.

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