Yowie
Damning With Faint Praise


4.0
excellent

Review

by wackydelly USER (3 Reviews)
October 12th, 2012 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Skronk-Math Replica

Even the slightest refinements can render a gimmick an unparalleled forte. For all its mindboggling musicianship, Yowie’s debut Cryptooology possessed alacrity that could easily exhaust anyone approaching it as an album and mercilessly communicated the band’s self-consciousness as if they were snickering as they wrung out each battered, springy riff. Track titles (“Trina”, “Tamika”, “Tenesha”, etc.) ran parallel to their scope-- minor variations on a theme garnering largely the same reaction. Though a blip-sized concept magnified to excessive proportions, Cryptooology was a brilliantly studied crash course of no wave and avant-prog that, for better or worse, left listeners scratching their heads.

Damning with Faint Praise, Yowie’s first full-length in eight years, is no less pummeling, but it works to closely examine each of its constituent influences, favoring even more challenging dissonance and countering it with… resignation? What once seemed like grooves in their own confounding tongue on Cryptooology Damning translates through unburdened magnetism. Bear in mind that Yowie are characterized by complication, and these become flickers once thwarted by another jagged foray. Their catalog is a set of patterns that only they can follow, but for the first time it feels as though it demands frequenting.

Upon first encounter it can be agreed that there are too many nooks and crannies to Damning to note without resulting in volumes of diminished chords, yet there remain movements that breach Yowie’s elastic and sharp niche. Easy to infer, “Whippersnapper” is impatient even by their standards. Its drums constantly expand and contract, maneuvering the band into pure schizophrenia. Guitarists Jeremiah Wonsewitz and Sr. (H), Jb frequently display jaunty interaction with one another. “Slowly But Surly” wiggles along a conversational guitar line and unfurls into laser-guided string-strangulation tactics, its only nod to melody being the harmonics colliding like magnets. Their timbres are isolated on “Shriners Sure Do Cuss A Lot” so as to illustrate their varying degrees of ugly, and abrasive upstrokes accent the culminating abuse of “Eternally Collapsing Object”.

Yowie even hinting at rock conventions is probably blasphemy to Skin Graftees, but it’s a necessary evil. Their first outing pulverized eardrums in half the time AIDS Wolf’s swansong did and called for innovation just as it ended. I hesitate to say that Damning is short-winded, clocking in at under a half-hour just as its predecessor did, but the band has stretched its ingenuity across many interlocking phases and junctures, honing in on atonality, measuring its possibilities, and never plateauing. It’s less a comeback than it is a humble reinvention.


user ratings (7)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
related reviews

Cryptooology

Comments:Add a Comment 
ReturnToRock
October 12th 2012


3448 Comments


This has to be the most pretentiously worded review I have ever seen on this website. Did you swallow the thesaurus or are you trying to impress somebody? Either way, half of it is gibberish - trust me, unlike many, I AM able to interpret all the big fancy words.

Winrar
October 12th 2012


1722 Comments


This review is hilarious.

wackydelly
October 12th 2012


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm sorry, but I'm just writing how I interpret the music. I'm not looking to show off vocabulary, but just trying to illustrate the ridiculous complexity of the music. Were I to just bluntly say that it were "technical and abrasive" it'd be a huge bore. Nevertheless, hopefully you get the chance to check out the album if you haven't already, it's fantastic.

ReturnToRock
October 12th 2012


3448 Comments


If the music is as pretentious as this (I'm betting it is), no thanks. And "technical and abrasive" would have at least described the music for someone without a PhD. in Hipsterish.

wackydelly
October 12th 2012


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't mean to impose a pretentious persona upon anyone, though that has clearly happened. You and I
just have different approaches to writing. It's a very personal venture to me, and the words I've used
are arranged how they are because I found no other way to phrase them. What better way to describe an
album than to use the imagery it evokes? It may be loquacious, but if it portrays the album I see no
issue with it.

ReturnToRock
October 12th 2012


3448 Comments


Yes. We do have different approaches. I could be loquacious (I wrote a Victorian character once, and his discourse was a quagmire of antiquated vocables - see, I can do it too!) I just choose to make my writing more accessible to everyone. Now that doesn't mean going for grade-school vocabulary, but I do try to strike a balance.

Your prerogative, though - this wasn't a personal attack. It's just that half the review makes no sense anyway, and ALL of it seems like an exercise in pretentious intellectuality. Which I'm sure it wasn't, but that's the impression I got.

ReturnToRock
October 12th 2012


3448 Comments


^And I just realised I used 'vocable' wrong. I meant 'term' of course.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
October 12th 2012


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dude, your profile pic is AC/DC and your digging UNO.

wackydelly
October 12th 2012


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Your prerogative, though - this wasn't a personal attack. It's just that half the review makes no sense anyway, and ALL of it seems like an exercise in pretentious intellectuality. Which I'm sure it wasn't, but that's the impression I got."

Understood. Let me know if you'd like me to explain what didn't make sense to you.

wackydelly
October 12th 2012


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm almost certain that you were referring to "Upon first encounter it can be agreed that there are
too many nooks and crannies to Damning to note without resulting in volumes of diminished chords" in
your initial comment, so I'll tackle that:

There's so much detail in the compositions on this album that, were it written out in sheet music,
would leave you with a few books' worth of diminished chords.

Funeralopolis
October 12th 2012


11775 Comments


dis ruvue is dum

Digging: Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

ReturnToRock
October 13th 2012


3448 Comments


"Dude, your profile pic is AC/DC and your digging UNO."

*you're.

And that means I don't know how to write how...?!

@wackydelly: I happened to actually understand the review (that's how I know half of it doesn't actually make sense). If you had written the sentence the way you just did though (as well as every other sentence) it would have made for a much better review IMHO.

wackydelly
October 13th 2012


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just think it's odd that you're calling the review pretentious, though you haven't listened to the
album. I'm not saying that it's mandatory, but I'm sure that you know the word "pretentious" does mean
to claim merit without justification of it, and in this case, that would be the music itself.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
October 13th 2012


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

AC/DC is my favorite band. UNO rocked hard. I can see why that looked like a shot against you, totally wasn't.

ProfessorVeerappan
November 5th 2012


792 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

an amazing album
a true math madness mode
..

mplockwood
November 12th 2012


1 Comments


This review IS hilarious. I had to sign up for the site so I could comment. OK, there are definitely some things which didn't make sense to me that perhaps the author can explain. This line is particularly good:

"What once seemed like grooves in their own confounding tongue on Cryptooology Damning translates through unburdened magnetism."

What is the meaning of "magnetism" here?
How does one translate a groove through magnetism?
What is the difference between burdened and unburdened magnetism?
How are these grooves different after the unburdened magnetic translation?

The first Yowie album rules and I haven't heard this one yet, but I'll bet it does too.

wackydelly
November 15th 2012


17 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Magnetism" in the way I used it applied to the connection between the listener and the album. In other words, I mean to say that I feel this album is easier to attach to than Cryptooology. I used the word "unburdened" to illustrate that there's less difficulty in identifying with Yowie's music this time around. The grooves just seem less challenging. Hopefully you dig the album! I think it hits harder than Cryptooology does, but both albums are excellent.



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