Review Summary: The return of the desert rock gods…
One of the most influential bands for the ‘90s stoner rock sphere (and at the same time the most obscure of all) got seriously back in business in the last couple of years. In between tours, Yawning Man released the half hour jam, Historical Graffiti
, showcasing some lovely music harkening back to Rock Formations
or Nomadic Pursuits
. Now, The Revolt Against Tired Noises
moves a few steps forward on their sonic path, merging the old with new directions. The laid back tunes are still at a crossroads between blissfully melodic and thrilling build-ups, but they are complemented by punchier segments. Even so, having Gary Arce and Mario Lalli at the helm, any changes come wrapped in that gorgeous, familiar sound of theirs.
Musically, Yawning Man are often thrown into the category they influenced, still the guys are not coming that close to it. There are few distorted moments, relying mostly on spaced out jams instead. Gary Arce’s guitar sounds closer to post rock and its psychedelic leanings make the title track and ‘Black Kite’ wonderful, relaxed listens. ‘The Revolt Against Tired Noises’ boasts a waltzing rhythm that reminds a bit of ‘Perpetual Oyster’, however, the wandering notes travel miles away from it. Meanwhile, ‘Ghost Beach’ feels like a soundtrack to an early morning walk by the sea. The chilly guitar leads float above the pounding drums, beautifully contrasting one another. As the bass kicks in, the song gets this welcomed, powerful boost. Unlike Historical Graffiti
, which was recorded in Buenos Aires, Argentina, this LP saw the guys returning to Joshua Tree, California and you can hear this slight return to roots. Sometimes the ambiance changes the overall vibe more than we’d think.
The iconic trio offered us a few surprises as well, incorporating vocals on the wavy ‘Grant’s Heart’ & ‘Catamaran’, a song which officially saw the light of day in 1995 as a cover done by Kyuss on …And the Circus Leaves Town
. The former’s smooth progressions are nicely backed by chunky bass lines, whereas the latter features some really lush dynamics. Although considerably airier than Kyuss’ version, ‘Catamaran’ received a crystalline production, yet managed to retain the dramatic choruses. The vocals sound interesting, as the layering, alongside the reverb and echo, brought a slightly alien-like tone, which works well with the music. On the other hand, the fragmented drum patterns mixed with straightforward ones on ‘Violent Lights’ or ‘Skyline Pressure’ make these cuts some of the most alluring on the record. The effects-soaked leads are driven by Lalli’s versatile playing style, especially during the meandering parts of ‘Skyline Pressure’. There’s an entire spectrum of emotions that Yawning Man’s music evokes and I’m happy they still manage to “move” the listener. These seasoned musicians have played in several bands, nevertheless, the magic is at its most beautiful when they get back together. From The Birth of Sol
demos to The Revolt Against Tired Noises
, we received a handful of sincere albums where you can hear their musical prowess and tight chemistry. I hope these won't cease, so we can get more quality music in the near future.