Thursday, October 6, 2011

You Should Be Listening To... Yawning Man

The products of the American Desert scene never fail to surprise me. Consider the situation: a scene comprised of young American and Mexican hardcore punk fans, hanging out in the desert, playing gigs, famously powered by generators, and indulging the psychoactives, and out of that came the cult legends Kyuss; the unexpected popularity of QOTSA; revivals in places as far flung as The Netherlands, and so on. But perhaps the most surprising and one of the most beautiful was the little known Yawning Man. Coming to my attention by way of Aussie instrumental noisyists, Hotel Wrecking City Traders, Yawning Man's  album Rock Formations has since become one of those records, along with Mastodon's The Hunter and an unabridged audio book of Moby Dick, that lately I just haven't been able to stay away from! Think Hank Marvin meets Kyuss on a pleasant late summer morning and they get stoned in good humour and jam, the result is sweetly seductive to the ear. Check out this lengthy praise from desert icon Brant Bjork speaking in 2002 (despite forming in 1986 and recording over 30 tracks, no records were released until 2005):

"Yawning Man was the sickest desert band of all time. You’d just be up there in the desert, everybody’d just be hanging, partying. And they’d show up in their van and just, mellow, drag out their shit and set up right about the time the sun was goin’ down, set up the generators, sometimes they’d just go up there and drink beers and barbecue. Sometimes it would be a scene; sometimes it would be very intimate. It was very casual and loose and everybody would like, while they’re playing, everyone would just lounge around. They were kinda like a house band. It wasn’t militant likBlack Flag. It was very drugged, very stone-y, it was very mystical. Everyone’s just tripping, and they’re just playing away, for hours. Oh, they’re the GREATEST band I’ve ever seen."

Now that the stage has been set, enjoy my personal favourite, Perpetual Oyster and after that, particularly if you're a Kyuss fan, listen to Catamaran and see if you hear anything familiar...(hint hint, Kyuss covered the song!)

Edward Gerard Brophy