Yawning Man
Nomadic Pursuits


4.1
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
July 26th, 2014 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The heart of the desert.

In the midst of the scorching summer heat, desert rock is a natural fit. This type of music was best preserved in the underground and it often gets coined as stoner rock. The Palm Desert scene in Southern California holds a very dear place inside every fan of the respective genre, as it is one of its most prolific areas. In fact, this specific, drug-fueled sound rooted in early psychedelia, hard rock and blues, eventually became the main foundation of the stoner sphere. One difference that still pops up, however, is the Latin influence that has also been adopted in time by multiple bands regardless of location. Many artists hailing from the Mojave Desert such as members of Kyuss, Queens Of The Stone Age, Karma To Burn, Fatso Jetson, Fu Manchu, Nebula, Masters Of Reality, etc. etc., have become renowned around the world and helped popularize the entire genre. Even if some distanced themselves from it throughout the years, most have retained the musical origins in variable amounts.

Frankly, I understand why. There's something magic about this place. Whether is the lovely scenery, the quiet setting or simply the star-studded night sky, nobody can deny it. Since those who appreciate it most are the ones born around it, it's only fair that they gave something back to the heartland. Yawning Man are one of the true pioneers of desert rock, forming all the way back in the mid 80s. Their legendary generator parties in the middle of the Mojave Desert attracted lots of teenagers (among them were future Kyuss members - Brant Bjork, Josh Homme and John Garcia too) and inspired multiple acts to come. Even though they haven't produced any official recordings until 2005, they helped shape the stoner genre with their eerie grooves. Two demos recorded in 1986-1987 have circulated among the fans, becoming more like souvenirs of their prolonged jamming out there.

Their latest LP, Nomadic Pursuits follows the footsteps of previous offerings, Rock Formations and even Pot Head up to some point. While the latter took a darker route, this one harkens back to the summery vibes of the former. These veterans churn several jams that feel more or less rehearsed, focusing mainly on guitar melodies. The most charming tunes here are the dreamiest ones, 'Blue Foam' and 'Camel Tow'. These mesmerizing cuts are definitely essential Yawning Man. Both share swaying grooves where Gary Arce adds lovely licks and solos at his will, while drummer Alfredo Hernandez and bassist Mario Lalli are locked in their own world. Also, album closer, 'Laster Arte' is a late night jam, perfect for a quiet ride home. The distorted bass builds a solid foundation for lovely leads.

Nevertheless, the band shows they can fasten things a little when they feel like doing so. 'Sand Whip' and 'Ground Swell' feature some thunderous, tribal drumming, topped by deep bass lines and slightly distorted guitars. One of Arce's trademarks, he never breaks into full blown power chords like many guitarists tend to do, thus, only tricking you along the way. The centerpiece, 'Far-Off Adventure' showcases best the balance between him and Lalli. Even if their notes are intertwined, tonally, they never cross each other's path. You can always hear where each one trips, leaving a lot of room for the song itself to breathe. The experience these guys have gathered across the decades shows just how good can jam rock can get when you already anticipate the other's moves.

The main conclusion is that Yawning Man are one of the unsung heroes that helped shape the desert music (or how they called it, sol music) and later, stoner rock. Luckily for us, after two decades of activity, while also fronting several other projects, they decided to lay to tape their musical journeys. Nomadic Pursuits is a gorgeous record that needs to be experienced by every fan of the genre.




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user ratings (15)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2014


3419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

A beautiful, summer record.

Youtube playlist featuring the entire record - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lhObKcONyA&list=PL3201F04A566E9F71

Digging: Electric Wizard - Time to Die

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2014


6145 Comments


Good review, mindpos.

Jammed some of the songs just now and maybe it's just me, but their sound treads on post rock as well (the lead guitars).

Digging: Raven Throne - ???????? ?????????

TheCrocodile
July 26th 2014


231 Comments


Only have Rock Formations, it's pretty great.

laughingman22
July 26th 2014


1726 Comments


sweet review, I love your description of the desert rock scene

Digging: Throbbing Gristle - Part 2: The Endless Not

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2014


3419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

Thanks laughingman. I wanted to describe the differences because these terms tend to be confused.

It's a great album Voivod and yeah, the atmospheric guitars are post-rockish. It's a great mix though.

PS: I also edited the Bandcamp stream, yaaaaay!

KerfuffleinaHussle
July 26th 2014


764 Comments


a staff yawning man review, well this is the last thing i expected on sputnik!

excellent review though and awesome album, 'blue foam' is a summer beach jam if there ever was one


Omaha
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2014


10209 Comments


I had a feeling this would be a Raul review =]

Mad.
July 26th 2014


3865 Comments


Awesome that you reviewed this man, I'm in Southern LA at the moment so I guess I should listen to this. I like their sound on this one, possibly even better than their first LP

ExplosiveOranges
July 26th 2014


2818 Comments


Sweet review, man. This looks pretty damn promising.

Digging: Electric Wizard - Time to Die

Mad.
July 27th 2014


3865 Comments


Inspired me to listen to Rock Formations on the way back to LA from the outskirts, definitely suits the mood. I hope they make another LP soon

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 27th 2014


3419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

It seems I've become predictable Omaha I'll have to go undercover and start reviewing grindcore and dubstep lol!

@Mad - That's awesome, man. Are you on holiday there? They have completed a fundraiser on Kickstarter last year for their next LP. Hopefully, it will be out soon!

RunOfTheMill
July 27th 2014


1473 Comments


fuck yes, Yawning Man are awesome, great review

btw:

the decades shows just how good can jam rock can get

Remove the first "can"

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
July 27th 2014


3419 Comments

Album Rating: 4.1

Oh, I haven't seen that mistake. Thanks for pointing it out!

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 27th 2014


7397 Comments


Whether is the lovely scenery > Whether it's

Also, the Latin influence? Elaborate please.



Great review btw. Desert rock needs some more exposure on the site for sure.

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

Mad.
July 28th 2014


3865 Comments


@Insomniac Hell yeah man, I'm doing a filmmaking course here, maybe I can incorporate Yawning Man into a film...
Next LP should be awesome if we judge by these - the time difference between this album and their new one should have given them time to come up with something spectacular

BigBlob
July 28th 2014


1660 Comments


4.....................POINT 1

lalchimiste
July 28th 2014


257 Comments


cool listen thus far, their sound is pretty unique from the rest of all the stoner/desert rock i heard with their post-ish infused guitar work and atmosphere.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Nero Di Marte

lalchimiste
July 28th 2014


257 Comments


love the mix too, that earthy bass

Mad.
July 28th 2014


3865 Comments


The Yawning Sons album with Sons of Alpha Centauri is pretty awesome as well, and the Greek band Tuber sound a bit like these guys too. I'd definitely recommend both of those

emester
July 28th 2014


3540 Comments


listened to these guys while driving down the Negev. The sound really did compliment the atmosphere of the desert.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire



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