After the innermost journey, it seems about right we should engage with ‘Satans helpers, War Lazer Eyes And The Money Pig Circus’. Confused? Relax, sit back, and take a deep breath its only an album title.

I’ll set the picture for you, Sami Yaffa managed to turn in the album of the year when he released his debut solo album in 2021. It had everything and confirmed with many of us how fuckin talented the guy is. Not content with being the coolest bass player on the planet or playing on some of the best records ever he had to go and write produce sing and play on a solo album that was so fuckin good it was almost unfathomable. Roll on a couple of years and Mr Yaffa is back in the ring and taking precision shots again like the heavyweight player he is.

The first glimpse into album number two was the Iggyfied ‘Crashing Down’ and with a confident swagger, Sami was on top of his game with another earworm that sounded so good it made me grin for days. Excited at what was coming down the line and the first taste was exactly what I wanted to hear. Such is Samis laid back demeanour is infectious and engaging and it puts the listener in the best frame of mind for listening to some of the finest music currently being laid down anywhere by anyone.

The title track rolls in on a cool countrified lick that gathers pace before exploding into widescreen as Yaffas well worn, warm vocal wraps itself around you like a warm comforting blanket and the opening of this much-anticipated album is done.

‘Silver Or Lead’ rattles in off the back of the widescreen opener with a sharp, stripped back song with plenty of punch and gang vocals on the chorus but it’s the arrangement that gives the song an air of excitement that draws you the listener in. ‘Hurricane Hank’ is one cool motherfucker by the swagger of his soundtrack. A cool bluesy lick is held by some cool keyboard rattling over a rapid fuzzed guitar.

One thing Yaffa is clearly gifted is the ability to change pace and style yet keep it perfectly on point whatever the style so ‘Death Squad’ is the first glimpse of the reggae skank we had on that first record and it’s here with the keyboard slap with rhythmic stabs to groove alongside the skank of that clean guitar with its bluesy licks.

‘Down Home’ is laid on a bed of acoustic guitar chords and a warm pained vocal. It’s not quite a ballad but has a gentler hand maybe more Americana in the vein of say Jesse Malin at the top of his game. In contrast ‘Shitshow’ is rockin’ out at its finest from the storming the gates guitar break that’s scorching the speakers as it bursts through. No time for finery or complicated arrangments it’s heads down and lets rock! Some wonderful piano fills and backing vocals to accompany this rocka.

Whilst we’re deep into the record we have the first single that dropped several weeks ago ‘Crashing Down’ and it still sounds like the best song Iggy never wrote anytime over the last thirty years. ‘Chemical Life’ has the funk pulsing through the bassline sounding like an adventure through the NYC underbelly from the keys and that funkified bass to the cool lyric and fucked up flavours created by the brass and percussion exploding all over the place. A fantastic song and even after so few plays it sounds like a track to delve into for years to come.

A more varied album than his debut and touching upon all his previous bands and roles within bands Sami Yaffa has really spread his wings on ‘Satans Helpers’ there is perhaps a supreme confidence happening here before our eyes and ears and the off-kilter groove of ‘Far Star’ is his most varied offering yet. It could have been offered up to Harry and Chris Stein around the time they were eating to the beat it has that LES charm as the mist rolls in off the Hudson it might turn out to be the record’s buried gem the more play I give this, Only time will tell.

The record is almost done and already I’m excited to do it all again and see what pops out of my speakers on the next play. ‘Faster Than Me’ has a carefree vibe that is like a ray of sunshine after the storm. You know that satisfying smug feeling when you’ve looked forward to a new record and it absolutely doesn’t disappoint, well, ‘Satans Helper’ is exactly that record. I think it’s safe to say that Sami Yaffa will once again be challenging for the album of the year title such is the quality of this album after only a few plays.

Now, go and ask your local record store to get you a copy of ‘Satans Helpers, Warlazer Eyes & The Money Pig Circus’ it might just be the best record you buy in 2024 and you can quote me on that!

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Author: Dom Daley