Review Summary: The nomadic pursuits continue.
Accompanying Queens of the Stone Age on their new album release day is one of the bands that directly influenced Josh Homme among dozens of other artists from the area. Yawning Man sit at the base of the Palm Desert rock scene in California, performing a trademark brand of psychedelic rock that only got heavier later via the kids that grew up going to their desert generator parties in the mid-to-late ‘80s. As founding member Mario Lalli took a break from the band to focus on his other projects such as Fatso Jetson or the Rubber Snake Charmers with Sean Wheeler, guitarist Gary Arce is joined on Long Walk of the Navajo
by former member Billy Cordell on bass. The latter can also be heard on 2007’s Pot Head
EP. There is a slight change in sound, as Lalli usually favors a more muscular approach on the bass, most likely influenced by his guitar playing style. Cordell, however, often contributes a deeper and warmer sound to the tracks here, turning them into a more intimate affair. “Respiratory Pause” is the best example, since it gently unfolds into this lovely, lush piece driven by smooth low end lines, while Arce wanders into his hallucinatory leads. Meanwhile, “Blood Sand” cranks the volume up a notch, creating a vibrant atmosphere to immerse yourself into. Their longer songs easily make you lose track of time. The 15-minute title track checks all the act's sonic boxes, going from sturdy chords with lower pitched guitar licks to loose and mellow bits. It is a fine summary of what they are all about. Compared to the previous two rather concise records, Long Walk of the Navajo
feels like a prolonged jam session. Nevertheless, Yawning Man are all about improvisations and offering a rich, relaxed atmosphere. Decades later, they still do it better than most bands in the genre.