Yowie | Damning with Faint Praise (Skin Graft)

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yowie damningThis St. Louis trio come together and work as one sporadic, yet deceivingly well-oiled machine.

 

Warning: This album is strongly prohibited to persons with cardiovascular diseases, back or spine problems, recent surgical procedures, or pregnant women. Yowie is not for the faint of heart; it is a dazzlingly technical freak-force to be reckoned with. This St. Louis trio consists of two guitarists and a drummer, who come together and work as one sporadic, yet deceivingly well-oiled machine.

Their swapping guitar style is very much in the vein of Behold…The Arctopus. It is a beautiful cooperation of two well-versed guitarists performing sonic brain surgery on their audience, backed by wildly unpredictable drumming, complete with the utter demolition of his symbols.

Higher production quality is especially evident. On the band’s previous effort, Cryptozoology, the instrumental skill was just as good, but the songs sounded washed out, as if they may have been recorded in someone’s attic (not necessarily a bad thing for this style). Nevertheless, it’s nice to have better production so that I can hear every screaming note their most-likely bloodied fingers can scrape out.

While technical music is always meticulous, as implied by its name, it frequently sounds raw and disjointed. Damning with Faint Praise is difficult to comprehend, as should always be the case. It takes several listens before you can begin to understand it, and even then I don’t think I’ll ever be able to play any of these songs back in my head—which is actually fantastic. Every time I want to experience Yowie’s music, I have to pick it up and listen through another time.

Yowie is a must-see performance if you are ever given the opportunity. About a year ago they and Spelling Bee opened for Melt-Banana at Cicero’s, and it was truly a spectacle to behold. A | Brian Cheli

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