Yen Harley is an alternative rock band from Utrecht, The Netherlands, fronted by singer/guitarist Lukas Batteau. His ’90s grunge inspired songs, that went from rock to singer-singwriter and back again, now have found their final form in guitar heavy, melancholy rock songs. Yen Harley is Lukas Batteau on guitar and vocals, Berry Vink on drums, Rolf Perdok on guitar and Josine van der Splinter on bass.

It all started when Lukas Batteau handed a demo CD of his songs to then friend and colleague, now manager and wife (in that order) Ravinia Thwaites, back in 2006. Lukas had started his first band two years before that, but it turned out to be a frustrating experience, and they had broken up just days before. He had named the band after a Hotmail account of a girl he had hopelessly been in love with. Yen Harley.

It was the enthusiasm and visionary drive of Ravinia that encouraged Lukas to continue on his own, and in March 2007 they recorded a three track demo together in Lukas’ basement studio. With the help of the demo, Lukas started playing his songs acoustically at open mics, or any bar or venue Ravinia could get him a spot, and suddenly he was a singer-songwriter.

Early 2008, having done a number of shows, they realized it was time to leave the home recorded demo behind, so Lukas got together with producer and fellow Utrechter Maarten Besseling to record his first EP All dressed up and nowhere to go. The EP was well received, with a great review in national music magazine OOR, and Lukas went on to play nearly a 100 gigs in one year, with support shows for artists like Wouter Hamel and Tracy Bonham, local festivals Tweetakt, UIT feest, and Stukafest, and playing in several cities for the 2009 Popronde.

All this time however Lukas knew that his songs hadn’t reached their final form. Being inspired by early nineties grunge bands like Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and The Smashing Pumpkins, he was looking for a darker, heavier sound, and he couldn’t do that alone. So late 2008 they placed an ad for a drummer and bass player, and the following audition gave them drummer Berry Vink and bass player Josine van der Splinter. A band was formed!

In 2009, Lukas Batteau (the band) played in venues like Paradiso, Melkweg, Doornroosje, Ekko, Tivoli, Paard van Troje, P60, Kenny’s Castaway’s (NYC), Steinbruch (DE) and the Livingroom (NYC), with acts like Go Back To The Zoo, Paulusma and Gomez. They started recording their debut album The substance of things and, after asking guitar player Rolf Perdok to assist them during live shows, invited him to join. He kindly accepted. There was just one more thing that needed to be done. Hearing the new material, Lukas knew he was hearing the songs the way they were intended to be. It was time to shake the dust off an old acquaintance. As of January 1, 2010, after six years of being a dormant, probably even expired Hotmail account, Yen Harley is back.

The album the substance of things has been released in the Benelux on March 28 2010 and worldwide on i-tunes.

If you can capture anyone over thirty with a sense of nostalgia, you’re sitting on gold.” John Denekamp” OOR Magazine

Yen Harley’s debut album artwork is a statement for their fashion ridden melancholy rock. Simply proof that melodic grunge isn’t dead. The Substance Of Things is slow and heavy, with distortion and harmonies, gripping guitar riffs without haste. Above all they sound very American, with a few perfect singles. Call It Love, an up tempo rock song, and Holes In The Sky and Family Man, more composed yet instant sing-alongs. The Substance Of Things grows on you, with a beautiful closer, intense and straight from the heart. Firmly rooted in a clear defined sound.NU.NL

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