Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Yolks (Randy/Bachelor)

This is a Chicago garage band that's been kicking around for a while and had I heard this record before last August I probably would have written it off. Though the band works hard, has decent musicianship (especially the sharp drumming) and seems to have fun, the live sets I've seen have leaned towards the cutesy, pop punk side of garage rock, vocalist Nathan betraying his height and stature by singing like a little mousy dude. In fact, after their opening set that fateful August night I still was skeptical (though the rest of the crowd was mighty moved). But then, as the Witching Hour approached, and rumors abounded that headlining act Nobunny had been in an accident and was unable to play his much anticipated set of manic, mangy bubblepunk, a miracle happened. Nobunny hit the stage, his signature bunny mask now crafted of tape and cut up cardboard, his hirsute body on display as he danced around in his underwear, his pubic bush and package girth enhanced by what seemed to be a medium sized dead rodent stuffed in his shorts. He also appeared to have grown a foot or two. The hero of the night, it seemed, was shameless Nathan, who saved the show by delivering a ridiculously awesome set of Nobunny songs incognito. After his brilliant mess of a set Cynthia Plaster Caster, unaware of the charade, turned to me and said she was interested in casting the critter she just saw. There's no better affirmation than that. Thus, listening to this album I am more in the Yolks camp than I've ever been before. While this is far from the raunchy romp one hopes for from garage heroes, I also can't hear any of the pop punk fluff I'd previously attached to the band. This diverse set of bubblegum, garage, country, and punk is pretty sweet, especially a driving, ultra-catchy rocker about going on a peanut butter sandwich picnic. So the moral of the story is, if you really want to know what a band sounds like, you need to see them flail around in their underpants. Although I'm not sure if that would get me to like Dave Matthews Band.

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