If you know anything about the Desert Rock scene in California in the nineties, you’ll have heard of Yawning Man, a band about as influential and revered as it’s possible to be within that scene.
As befits a bunch of supreme stoners of course they’ve achieved little to nothing as far as the wider music-loving public is concerned, but as we well know, success in music is never judged solely by the number of units shifted. Yawning Man, around for over a quarter of a century but only now releasing their sixth full-lengther, are proof of that.
Largely instrumental, The Revolt Against Tired Music is the sort of album that’s going to be the perfect accompaniment for lazy Summer Sunday afternoons or woozy nights spent in a darkened room in front of a roaring fire. Closing track Ghost Beach sucks you in from the get go courtesy of pulsing bass and the swirling, janglesome guitars of Gary Arce. It’s spellbinding stuff, even if you’re not off your gourd on peyote, mesmerising for sure but never tedious. I’m not often a fan of instrumental music, but if I have to listen to it, I want it all to sound like Yawning Man…
A couple of songs feature vocals, most notable of which is the band’s version of their own classic Catamaran. If you’re a Kyuss fan but don’t know of anything concerning Yawning Man you’ll recognise this as having been covered on …And the Circus Leaves Town, the link being drummer Alfredo Hernandez, who played in both bands and went on to join Queens of the Stone Age in the late nineties. Needless to say The Yawning Man’s own version is wonderful. The other sung song here, Grant’s Heart, is also pretty sweet. Nice Hüsker Dü allusion, too!
Laid back, unassuming yet supremely accomplished, Yawning Man are the legends you’ve almost certainly never heard of. Change that situation now!
The Revolt Against Tired Music is out now on Heavy Psych Sounds.