Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, Oct 5th, 2017

The Yawpers: Boy in a Well

The Yawpers
Boy in a Well
(Bloodshot Records)

Buy it at Amazon!

The Yawpers new album, Boy in a Well is a wonderful conceptual ‘mess.’ On their 3rd album, the Denver trio (consisting of drummer Noah Shomberg, guitarist Jesse Parmet, and guitarist/singer/songwriter Nate Cook) attempt to tell the story of a mother abandoning her son in a well during World War I in France.

Discordant piano strikes, marching snares, wailing guitars, and Cook’s warbling high vocals bring the first tune, “Armistice Day” into scary relief. It flows right into the rockabilly rave shouter, “A Decision is Made.”

“Room with a View” is a subtly soft and haunting ballad, one of the best tunes on this album of 12 gems. It’s got a “Dear Prudence” meets Lou Reed vibe to it.

“The Awe and the Anguish” has got the coolest tight-in-a-closet sound, recorded (as lots of the album was) on a field recorder, the very same one Alan Lomax used back in the day. The boy gets free of the well, and tells what he feels about the outside world. When the band slaps in with crashing drums and slide, it’s like a great Led Zep moment.

“Mon Nom” is even wilder, all Shomberg stomp, Cook sounding like Elvis (as much as Janis Joplin) and Parmet sliding when not playing with heavy riffs.

Playing with odd mikes and their placement gain, we get the boy throwing himself back into the well on what is basically a soft acoustic guitar lament with some percussion accents. “God’s Mercy” has also got one of Cook’s best vocals.

“Reunion,” ends on a rockin’ note, a hand clappin’, Beach Boy’s-like chorus tune with piano accents raving around a wry tragic lyric. What a way to end a fantastic album.

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The Yawpers: Boy in a Well