Review of “Running with Scissors” EP by YMX

Thanks very much to Jack Meredith at YMX for posting this review of the EP:
A Refreshing Outlook On Avant-garde Rock From Dark Soul Safari

Although now based in London, singer/songwriter and the band’s frontman Adriaan van Heerden was originally born in South Africa before he moved to London for his university studies. Dark Soul Safari is van Heerden’s latest musical venture and “Running With Scissors” is the project’s first official release – a 4 track EP with a cynical and robust view of the world packaged in neo-folk instrumentation, very similar to that of Death In June.

Van Heerden tells elaborate stories and tales from the modern world as well as historically motivated stories, the title track tackles the sombre reality of climate change and the fate of humanity that will be left in its wake. The topics explored throughout the EP follow a similar pattern to that of the title track and van Heerden’s monotone delivery suits the subject matter perfectly and even has shades of Ian Curtis in certain moments, creating cold, sketchy but contrastingly beautiful soundscapes.

On the surface, “That’s How I Roll” is a fun and light-hearted take on road rage and the psychology of a protagonist. Again, the lyrics and their delivery are in van Heerden’s instantly noticeable monotone sound, however, the strings and percussion lend themselves to more of an indie sound, creating a song that challenges the boundaries of neo-folk and avant-garde styles.