Wednesday, February 24

Yeasayer: Oddly Compelling

Short Review: Yeasayer is weird! But fun! So...yeah! Good record!

Long Review: Every 10 or 12 years, Pop music resets itself and is spurned on by the leadership of one or two incendiary artists who set the trend for the next decade. From the Beatles, to David Bowie, to R.E.M / The Cure, to Nirvana and to Radiohead, bands have emerged to dictate what sound will be “cool” for a few years to come.

It bums me out to say, but there is pretty good evidence to suggest that Animal Collective are the barometer against which indie music will be measured over the next few years. If Radiohead was a band about the fear of technology, Animal Collective are the band that Radiohead was afraid of. Everything in the forseeable is going to sound like music made by computers on drugs.

Shit sucks, eh?

Well take heart, people! It's not all so bad! Why, there are bands out there like Yeasayer, bands that aim to take the cold, unfeeling oddness of narcotic-addled processors and make something fun out of it.

So, yeah. Odd Blood is weird. Weird, but fun and upbeat and downright fucking human. This is computer music that sounds like it was made by actual people, actual people who enjoyed the process of making it (as opposed to Animal Collective, which often sounds joyless and bizarre to me. Man! I really don't like Animal Collective!)

You've got the usual elements: “sonic textures,” repeating samples, repetitive sound snippets, programmed drums, weirdo noises that don't sound as if they occur naturally in the music world. Lots of keyboards, you know? The difference here is how obtainable and friendly Yeasayer makes the intimidating elements sound. On paper, lead single “Ambling Alp” is an insurmountable wall of drugged out fuzz. In practice, however, the tune is an upbeat dance number about sticking up for yourself.

Its hard to describe Yeasayer to folks who aren't in the know. For the average person, this shit is gonna sound fun, but way out there. To hipster fucks like myself, it is much easier.

You know that one Atlas Sound song “Walkabout?” Odd Blood sounds like that song, but with more energy and for an entire album, without getting boring. Remember the best parts of Strawberry Jam? Yeasayer is like that, without the pretension. Did you like Yacht's latest album, but wish it sounded a little less like android music? This is the record for you! Do you like TV on the Radio in concept more than in practice? Fuck that, get your hooks into something your body can enjoy as much as your mind!

Look, no one is more upset about the coming tide of AnCo trend followers more than I am. Fuck all that noise, gimme some guitars. That being said, Yeasayer really opened my mind about what this new trend of music can accomplish outside of art-house pretension. This is a fun record for fun people, and while it might take a little warming up to for the uninitiated Joes, the bad haircut set will have no problem grooving. Odd Blood takes a hard idea and makes it effortless, endlessly easy. Good work, dudes.

Key Tracks: Ambling Alp, O.N.E, Love Me Girl, Mondgreen

Buy, Steal, Skip: Buy

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