Words by Joe Hatt
I wish I knew more Scottish people. Those that I do know are always in amazing bands that are influenced by other Scottish people in amazing bands. The fact that there is a seemingly endless stream of music that makes my ears quiver with joy pouring in from north of the border often makes me question whether or not these people even exist, or have I fabricated them as a way of making me forget all of the hellish music that is out there; how so perfect so often? This is a silly observation of course and may well be racist (I claim naivety) but oh well; when I’ve got bands such as The Yawns to listen to I really don’t care about anything else.
Discovered thanks to a facebook plug (the future can be good) from another quite superb Scottish band; the two piece garage monsters ‘Dolfinz’, I had high hopes, and whereas the latter present their songs in the scuzziest, in your face way as possible (more often than not in two minute drive-by’s with Dinosaur Jr freak outs), The Yawns have mastered the craft of restraint. The songs on their debut sound like they have been written by a band with several years of gigging together, honing their sound before heading to the studio to lay down all that they have pieced together along the way, hence the feeling of effortlessness and confidence that breathes amongst the music. The reality is that they recorded this in a garage, and have played two gigs.
From the opening, rolling bassline of Summers Wasted, I already knew that I was going to fall in love with this album. This prediction is all but confirmed by an impeccable guitar line that solidifies the track and then soon seeps in a vocal that transports me back to the days of discovering Camera Obscura and Belle and Sebastian; good god this is good.
Naysayers could proclaim that the four piece are offering nothing new; that this is just nice, twinkly music that has been regurgitated each year since Johnny Marr mastered melancholy, but the fact is these songs contain something else that transcends simply rehashing old maudlin. Whether it be the ‘Just Like Honey’ flavoured ‘Butterflyes’ (I am a fan of puns) that ends with a reverberated refrain that I just want them to repeat forever, or ‘Take Me To The Moon Please’ which sounds like Ty Segall’s calm cousin (in the best possible way), The Yawns know exactly how to construct and nail a great pop song.
Being so early in their existence, it will be interesting to hear where the band can go; will they stay true to the sound that they have aced on their debut, or plug a distortion pedal in to blast out the subtleties? It doesn’t really matter to be honest because this is an album that ticks all the boxes that they have aimed to tick.
Stream the album in full; http://theyawnsband.bandcamp.com/