Yellow Ostrich
Yellow Ostrich


3.0
good

Review

by Matt Wolfe EMERITUS
June 30th, 2009 | 40 replies | 8,609 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Enjoyable bedroom-folk which hints at better things to come from its creator.

I’m not stupid. I know what you’re thinking right now. You’ve seen the rating, the genre of the record, and you’re ready to hit the homepage again, ready to make the band name a fast-fading smudge in your memory. Mellow Cottage? If you haven’t done so already, what about if I told you the artist, Alex Schaaf, was giving away his bedroom-folk debut as a free download? Too good to be true, right? You still don’t care. Yeah, I’d be the same. The general consensus seems to be: if something is truly good, everyone on the internet will rave about it and give it to me for free. And this is why I usually give these young guns the benefit of the doubt and up their rating slightly. Give them a break. But I haven’t done so here. Yellow Ostrich is a good indie folk album, nothing more. Songs seem to generally follow the pattern of Schaaf vocally maypoling around one hook with general indie-folk quirk. It’s never showy, taking gentle and simple guitar passages and marrying them with assorted dream-like noises and Schaaf’s hard-to-place yet clearly influenced voice. But this seems to be more the fact that Yellow Ostrich just doesn’t have a lot to show rather than a mastery of simplicity and musical minimalism.

But still. Check it out anyway. Because the album is good. Because it’s mellow and catchy, like any good indie-folk. And because I think there could be better things to come from this guy. There’s a touch more than just potential and charm on show here. This ‘more’ is hard to explain. Opener ‘Fog’ describes what I can’t. Beneath the swathes of dreamy vocal drones, simple guitar and Schaaf’s familiar, youthfully heart-hidden-under-sleeve vocals, something magical pokes its cloaked head through. Its veil makes it hard to identify, but it’s more than simple potential. It excites far too much for that. This same quiet beast tumbles into second track, ‘Be Back Soon’, which immediately evokes thoughts of Jeff Magnum, despite not really sounding anything Neutral Milk Hotel. The heartstring pinches of Schaaf’s voice are clamped in place with such lyrics as ‘love me gently but don’t ever take your hand off of the knife’. And I know you’re thinking that’s lame, but it’s delivered with a strange effortless conviction that does more than just hint at greatness. These two tracks are really quite excellent, and while the rest of the album doesn’t come close, there are moments that suggest Alex Schaaf could be a big name. If he can nurture his style - a style which blurs the line between familiar and unique with wistful nostalgia (the good kind), a style which feeds off the bare, exposed beauty of vulnerability and picks at your emotions whether you feel like it should or not – then he may not have to rely on giving his albums away for free just to gain attention much longer.

Come the end of the year, near no one will remember Yellow Ostrich. That’s just the facts. Even I will probably forget to even consider it when the best-of-09 lists are due. But even the cynic in me can’t shake the feeling that this won’t be the last I’ll hear of Alex Schaaf. So why not check this out? If you’ve read this far you should at least reward yourself with a free album. The guy could be big. Maybe. Just a heads up.

www.myspace.com/yellowostrich



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user ratings (3)
Chart.
2.8
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2009


15737 Comments


one of those "haven't reviewed in a while so here's something no one will care about but i'm bored" reviews

Digging: Ricky Eat Acid - Three Love Songs

gaslightanthem
June 30th 2009


5209 Comments


why would u say that this is an eagerly anticipated release

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
June 30th 2009


862 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

you're both right. but srs ec has it so stupidly right.

gaslightanthem
June 30th 2009


5209 Comments


maybe u two should go shoot up and needle share D :








also i'm going to check this out because i will probably like it

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 30th 2009


15737 Comments


you're both right. but srs ec has it so stupidly right.


i know cuz all my post rock reviews are that type of review

gaslightanthem
June 30th 2009


5209 Comments


true nobody cares about most of your reviews looooooooooooooool

robin
Emeritus
June 30th 2009


4248 Comments


i always care about matts reviews

gaslightanthem
June 30th 2009


5209 Comments


i was talking about downers reviews

robin
Emeritus
June 30th 2009


4248 Comments


his too : ), he knows what it's like to trade his girlfriend for a muse.

but even when mtf rates stuff 3 it's amazing. so i will prob check this out.

gaslightanthem
June 30th 2009


5209 Comments


that's what i was thinking

will stop spamming your review now MR

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
June 30th 2009


862 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i'm cool with spam kc, gives me something to read. but i'm not cool with that you cheeky naked garden poser.

and thanks robin, you'll def like this at least a bit, worth the effort for the free download anyway.

gaslightanthem
June 30th 2009


5209 Comments


not cool with what 'ey? i mean i know u like the idea of me naked in ma garden

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
June 30th 2009


862 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

who doesn't? you make us feel better about ourselves. i prefer to keep my identity under wraps though. fuck this mouse its on fucking crack or some shi jumping everywhere stupid broken laptop argh more money i have to waste

gaslightanthem
June 30th 2009


5209 Comments


gonna kill u worse than u been killed b4 hows that feel



Minus The Flair
Emeritus
June 30th 2009


862 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

feels like i should converse in sputnik community more often

gaslightanthem
June 30th 2009


5209 Comments


i wouldn't like i mean it's not cool too many fags who aren't into dicking and whatnot

Relinquished
June 30th 2009


24993 Comments


Dude, just noticed that Minus the Flair has the same last name as me

gaslightanthem
June 30th 2009


5209 Comments


lol

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
June 30th 2009


862 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

123

BallsToTheWall
June 30th 2009


44294 Comments


Wolfe pack.

Digging: Tiamat - Clouds



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