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YEASAYER – All Hour Cymbals (We Are Free)

I have read quite a bit about Yeasayer over the past few months, mostly about the fact that they were bringing psychedelic music back to America, so they sounded like just the sort of band that I would like. This is their debut album from last year, and while they are certainly trying to make a different sort of music, I would hesitate to call it psychedelic. One of the main influences seems to be world music, with tribal rhythms and instruments like sitars scattered throughout the album. ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Wait For The Summer’ are perfect examples of their sound, and are also a couple of the better songs on the album. Former single ‘2080’ brings to mind the criminally under-rated Midlake, having a similar rural feel to it, while ‘Germs’ is the most obvious example so far of one of the band’s biggest influences – ‘Remain In Light’ era Talking Heads. ‘Forgiveness’ is almost odd enough to warrant the psychedelic tag, but its syncopated beats and funky rhythms bring it round, and it is ‘Wait For The Wintertime’ which is the most surprising thing on here, with the band pulling out all the stops for a heavy riffing monster of a track. ‘Worms’ closes the album with a hypnotic rhythm and massed vocals, helping to wind you down after the rush of some of the others tracks, and as a final piece you have hidden track ‘Red Cave’, which is a mixture of gospel-tinged vocals and Eastern instrumentation, which, as odd as it sounds, actually works extremely well. So, not really as psychedelic as I had hoped (if you want a real 60’s psyche revival group then try The Quarter After – a truly brilliant guitar band) but as an example of the sort of left-field music that America can produce if given the chance, then this album shows that there are still bands out there who are trying to make a sound that is uniquely their own, and Yeasayer are well on the way to doing just that.

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