I feel like a failure when I discover an album that I love more than 6 months after the release date. Usually, rather than admit this failure, I’ll just not review the album and pretend that I knew about it’s greatness all along. However, in this case, I can not do that. Open Season is just too good and it is too interesting for me not to share with the greater SYFFAL population.
As you may, or may not know, I’m slut for the Beach Boys. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a column in which I boasted about the prevalence of ‘Pet Sounds’ inspired harmonies in today’s music. YAWN is one of these inspired bands. They use harmonies like they are hookers… snorting lines of blow off their ass and drenching them in golden showers until they are sure they got their money’s worth. The album is over flowing with beautiful and overlapping melodies that get used and abused by these sexual deviants… AND I LOVE IT.
It is so easy to compare YAWN to Animal Collective, but I’m not (although I just did) because their music doesn’t sound as pretentious. The majority of the songs on Open Season are fronted with harmonies and percussion; for the most the guitars take and bass take a backseat to the welcomed chaos.
Rhythmically this album is outstanding. Your ears will feast on the multiple percussive instruments used; they range from a standard kit, to a drum machine, to hand claps, to wood blocks, to tambourines, to other instruments I can’t recognize. The plethoras of instruments are used on their own, in tandem, or in mass. YAWN mixes it up enough to keep you on your toes. I think this has to be the reason why Open Season sounds so diverse, yet remains cohesive.
A couple of my YAWN favsies include the tracks: YumYum, Acid, and Astral Observatory. YumYum begins with some high pitched trippy vocals that remind of the song Sleepy Head by Passion Pit, but as you journey further into the track a warm ‘Unicorns-inspired’ deliciousness. The harmonies on Acid are beautiful and my favorite on the album. Astral Observatory has some great waltzing piano chords that make me feel like I’m at a creepy carnival lost in a crowd of clowns. I HATE CLOWNS… yet I love this song.
YAWN is currently wrapping up a tour with The Kooks and will be playing a SXSW show this week. If you are lucky enough to be in Austin then you should check them out.