Yakuza - Of Seismic Consequence (IMPORT) (CD)
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Of Seismic Consequence is a considerable journey, with a feel more like a linear trip than a rounded album of songs. Conventionality has never been top priority for Yakuza, and their progressive bent toward the experimental and tech-jazzy continues here.
Yawning Man - Historical Graffiti (CD)
Since 1987 this unique and influential band from the Southern California desert has been leaving their mark on bands such as Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age, and countless other alternative rock musicians making them one of the defining forces in the desert rock scene for over 20 years both in the U.S. and in Europe. Pinning Yawning Man to a specific genre is difficult, letting the music speaks for itself has fans from all over the rock, indy, psyche and alternative spectrum are discovering the passion and dark beauty in Yawning Man's music. Throughout the instrumental cinamatic rock landscapes of Yawning Man, the post-Ventures, haunting melodies & composition of guitarist Gary Arce are constantly being stretched, up-ended and sent deep into dark Joy Division territory, by the weird chords and heavy bass grooves of Mario Lalli and drummer Bill Stinson. The result is the kind of brooding and thunderous atmosphere that draws you constantly inward. In this very special recording session done during the bands 2015 South American tour while in Buenos Aires, Agentina, the band was invited to record for one evening at the world famous and legendary ION Studios.The session featured guest appearances by Argentininian tango musicians Sara Ryan on violin and Adolfo Trepiana on bandoneon accordion as well as Malene Arce (wife of Gary Arce) on the Mellotron. An Argentinian newspaper once wrote that the "condensed history of the nation's music" was to be found behind Ion's doors, and they were spot-on with this description. Some of the country's brightest musical legends, such as Astor Piazzolla, have reacted like ions with other musicians, and the energy that was released during this process condensed in the form of numerous classic records.. As the largest and most legendary sound studio in Buenos Aires, Ion remains one of the most remarkable recording venues in the world. It's energy is evident in the spontaneous edgy beauty created by the band in this collaboration of special artists in a very special place.
Yawning Man - Pot Head (IMPORT) (CD EP)
Featuring Alfredo Hernandez - drums (ex-Kyuss, ex-Queens of the Stone Age); Billy Cordel - bass and Gary Arce - guitars (The Sort of Quartet, Oddio Gasser).
Until this past year, Yawning Man was one of those highly regarded but seldom-heard bands, the type that only those “in the know” are aware of. Put it this way - they’ve been covered by Kyuss and the groups that Mario Lalli (bass), Gary Arce (guitar), Alfredo Hernandez (drums) have been in reads like a laundry list of essential stoner rock acts. But until now, their profile was so under the radar it was almost non-existent. Pot Head, Yawning Man’s four song follow up to Rock Formations, finds the band capitalizing on their elevated profile. For those familiar with the full length, Pot Head is more of the same, albeit with a slightly darker, heavier tone - possibly due to new bassist Billy Cordell (from Unida, another essential act in the genre). The trio specializes in sweeping instrumentals that are as much in tune with the ocean as they are with the desert. It’s the type of music that taps directly into nature – it’s organic and free flowing.
If you haven’t gotten acquainted with Yawning Man, do so now. If you’re unfamiliar with the band, try Pot Head on for size. The four songs show why those “in the know” have been quietly raving about this band for years.
Yawning Man - Rock Formations (CD)
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Yawning Man was born in the middle ‘80s and it’s currently formed by Alfredo Hernandez - drums (ex-Kyuss, ex-Queens of the Stone Age); Mario Lalli - bass (Fatso Jetson, Orquesta del Desierto, Across the River) and Gary Arce - guitars (The Sort of Quartet, Oddio Gasser).
Rock Formations includes ten new tracks recently recorded by Yawning Man. Yawning Man's unique musical style takes on the highly acclaimed Brant Bjork`s Jalamanta album as an influence to their new songs. Or we could say that Jalamanta was inspired by Yawning Man years earlier. Needless to say Gary Arce and Mario Lalli recorded additional guitars on Jalamanta and Mario sings on one of the tracks. This collaboration was proof of respect and admiration that Brant Bjork feels for Yawning Man. Yawning Man’s music sounds like a melancholic mix of acoustic space rock with elements of surf music, as well as middle eastern guitar style. Yawning Man was responsible for influencing music in the desert and creating a sound which today is still trying to be duplicated.
Yawning Man - Rock Formations (Re-issue) (CD)
Cheaper reissue of the debut album by the godfathers of the Joshua Tree desert/stoner rock scene. The band is comprised of Alfredo Hernandez (KYUSS, QOTSA, CHE, DESERT SESSIONS) on drums, Mario Lalli (FATSO JETSON, ORQUESTA DEL DESIERTO) on bass, and Gary Arce on guitars (the album is all-instrumental).
Year Long Disaster - Self Titled (CD)
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It's taken awhile, but Year Long Disaster, the band formed in rehab by son-of-a-Kink Daniel Davies and former Karma to Burn bassist Rich Mullins, has finally released a full-length. When they keep it simple and direct and rely on Mullins' Karma to Burn past, it's a killer record. This is what Karma to Burn's debut, the one with the last minute singer, should have sounded like. And for that alone, it gets my recommendation.
With a devilish blend of classic rock like ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath along with a touch of the flair of metal, Year Long Disaster’s debut is shrieking vocals and powerful guitar riffs. Maybe this is not as surprising once you consider that the band’s singer and guitar player is Daniel Davies, son of The Kinks’ Dave Davies. Rounding out the band’s line-up is bassist Rich Mullins (formerly of stoner/psychedelic rock band Karma to Burn) and drummer Brad Hargreaves (of alt pop darlings Third Eye Blind). Talk about an unlikely combination.
Year of the Cobra - …in the Shadows Below (CD)
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The debut-album by the Seattle-based doom duo Year Of The Cobra. '...In The Shadows Below' is an 8-song opus that weaves a magical spell of doom based psych/stoner riffs. There also are a few moments of heavy sludge based riffs to prove that Year Of The Cobra knows how to create a thunderous atmosphere.
Yeti - Volume, Obliteration, Transcendence (CD)
With three of the songs over 10 minutes in length, there’s quite a bit of room for the trio to jump from one style to another. There’s conventional riffing and grooves on the album, but there’s not always a direct correlation between one section of a song and the next. It’s demanding music, the type that resists convention in spite of the traditional aspects to the compositions. You could say it’s a bit Mr. Bungle, a bit Iron Maiden, a bit Melvins, and a bit free-form jazz odyssey, but I’d rather say Yeti’s Volume, Obliteration, Transcendence is just wholly unique.
This CD, comprising four long tracks, fairly seethes with barely suppressed rage, palpable in both the ominous arrangements and the nearly indecipherable vocals. Sure, they play long, but each new movement only makes the impact of the whole stronger and more striking. Instrumentally, the band comes across like a brainier, proggier Black Sabbath or a more aggressive version of the three-piece lineup from King Crimson's Red album. Yeti's greatest feat is presenting uncompromising, adventurous music in a way that ears attuned to less sophisticated rock noises can still hear.
Yeti plays thick and heavy "doom-prog" with manic, hardcore-influenced jazz-blasts and smooth soothing melodies. They draw influences from 70's European Prog bands like Magma, Univers Zero, Camel as well as sharing similarities with newer bands like Man is the Bastard, Anekdoten, Spaceboy and Tarantula Hawk.
Yob - Atma (IMPORT) (CD)
Guest appearance by Scott Kelly (Neurosis).
YOB have once again created another opus of doom metal mastery that will go down as one of the great American doom metal albums of our age (even though you can pretty much say that with any album within YOB’s repertoire). But with “Atma” the Eugene, Oregon three-piece, led by vocalist guitarist Mike Scheidt, have unleashed a new level of dynamics and depth with an album in which many will call the band’s magnum opus. Transcending (there’s that word again) the foreboding darkness and oppression that was “The Great Cessation”, “Atma” sees YOB continue their soul searching cycle of reaching that higher state of being through five crushing spiritually levitating tracks of pure doom metal mastery. The word “Atma” is defined as the existence of the core of the soul and that the highest value of knowledge comes from one’s true self. In turn, “Atma” is the culmination of YOB’s career that has reached a current self-reflective peak in their musical journey.