Yawning Man
Historical Graffiti


4.0
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
August 28th, 2016 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A lesson to newer stoner/psychedelic acts that thrive on their legacy..

For those unaccustomed to Yawning Man, this is one of the main acts that helped shape desert rock and ultimately the spaced-out psychedelic/stoner rock, genres that became very popular and currently enjoy a resurgence in popularity. Originally formed around 1986 by Gary Arce, Alfredo Hernandez, Mario and Larry Lalli (all of them starting or joining several other bands in the upcoming years), they used to jam at those legendary generator parties in the Mojave Desert where future Kyuss band mates such as Josh Homme, Brant Bjork or John Garcia were present in the crowd. Although at times the band ventured into darker, more distorted territories (see Pot Head), their main sound was characterized by long, eerie tunes revolving around Arce’s reverb and delay-drenched leads, backed by a groovy bass along with airy drumming. Their Birth of Sol tapes circulated among fans for two decades until finally, the first LP, Rock Formations saw the light of day in 2006. It brought them to a new audience that recognized their influence over the years. A good while later, in between several tours, we received Nomadic Pursuits, a proper follow-up featuring some lovely, familiar tunes, making it clear they're not disappearing again.

A couple of years ago, the band started raising funds on IndieGoGo for a third record and after exceeding the required sum before the deadline, they even donated a part to charity. However, it took a some time for the results to materialize as the members had focused on other projects like Lalli’s Fatso Jetson or Gary’s ZUN album released this spring, which includes John Garcia on vocals. Nevertheless, the wait was worth since Historical Graffiti presents pretty much everything you would expect from them. A perfect soundtrack for the final weeks of summer, these laid back jams are just as loose as always, leading you like warm, soft breeze through the desert landscapes. The two cuts that bookend the record, ‘The Wind Cries Edalyn’ & the title track create a lush sonic platform where deep bass lines abound, whereas the guitars play beautiful, melodic leads in unison. There are chunkier build-ups as well as subdued moments popping up along the way, however, the music floats so peacefully, you can’t help but sit back and relax. A violin embellishes ‘The Wind Cries Edalyn’, whilst in the latter Lalli’s bass work is very powerful, Gary’s guitar only occasionally protrudes it. Meanwhile, the short piece, ‘Naomi Crayola’ boasts a more lively rhythm, changing the album’s pace for a few minutes. Arce wanders around, oscillating his pedal effects, while the others stay locked in a driving groove. A moment like this was needed, because the remaining two songs, ‘Her Phantom Finger of Copenhagen’ & ‘The Secret Language of Elephants’ continue the smooth flow, each boasting its own gorgeous patterns.

Historical Graffiti was recorded in one evening during Yawning Man’s South American tour last year in the famous ION Studio in Buenos Aires, Argentina. That spontaneity is clearly portrayed here since the entire LP acts like a single unit. Its short length is welcomed in a way, because it keeps the journey tight, constantly asking for another spin. Unlike previous affairs, there are no clear highlights that overshadow the rest, thus offering a constant ride that fans of the genre will thoroughly enjoy. It proves just how natural is for these guys to create such lovely music, mainly a result of an excellent chemistry between Lalli and Arce. It might not be their best record, yet it offers a lesson to newer acts that thrive on their legacy.




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user ratings (17)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2016


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They release album at such a slow pace, I feel the need to detail their history every time. Great stuff - http://yawningman.bandcamp.com/album/historical-graffiti



Vinyl here - http://burningworldrecords.com/item/historical-graffity-lp

Digging: Fennesz - Agora

parksungjoon
August 28th 2016


9354 Comments


band's great

mindpos

Pajolero
August 29th 2016


1055 Comments


How did I not hear any news about this?! The band is legendary.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 29th 2016


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks!



They released the record 10 days ago on vinyl and yesterday appeared the digital download and CD versions. There wasn't much publicity around it, they announced the album sometime in July I think.

guitarded_chuck
August 29th 2016


17384 Comments


this is dope

ChaoticVortex
August 29th 2016


765 Comments


I'm kinda ashamed to admit, that despite Yawning Man being a legend among stoner rock bands, I've never listened to them. But from from what I've read about them here and in other reviews, I've missed out some really dope stuff.

RunOfTheMill
August 30th 2016


3949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ohhhhhh baby gotta check asap, their previous two albums are so good

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2016


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

These guys have a vibe of their own, that's what makes them so cool

RunOfTheMill
August 31st 2016


3949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They're my go-to chill band. I really like their LPs up to now, but I think the Birth of Sol has their best material.



Good review too, but I feel like you focused too much on the background of the album rather than the sound, considering it's a pretty short revy

truekebabpower
August 31st 2016


788 Comments


Very impressed, was expecting some generic stoner rock.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2016


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for mentioning that RunOfTheMill, When I finished the review it seemed right regarding both length and song descriptions. Now I feel I should've written a couple of sentences for the last 2 tracks I mentioned.

At some point they said there'll be a re-recorded version of Catamaran, but I guess the idea was scrapped. That song is a classic.

RunOfTheMill
September 3rd 2016


3949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I would love to hear some proper recordings of some of those songs. Particularly SLAB, The Lonely Rancher and Moroccan Stash. Catamaran too, obv, but I won't deny that their strength lies in their instrumentation

Mad.
September 3rd 2016


4747 Comments


Damn didn't know these guys had a new one out, been 6 years

DeadGuy
September 3rd 2016


978 Comments


good shit

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2016


4753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fatso Jetson will also release a new album this October, as well as Ten East from what I saw. Big year for Lalli/Arce

greg84
Emeritus
September 4th 2016


7606 Comments


This album rules. I can't wait to see them live.

Digging: Moon Tooth - Crux

RunOfTheMill
September 4th 2016


3949 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lucky you Greg! I'v seen videos of their shows, lots of jamming... Exactly what you'd want from them really



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