Getting Raucous with The Yawpers
Named after a line from a Walt Whitman poem, Denver-based trio The Yawpers are a quirky band. Consisting of Nate Cook (vocals/guitar), Jesse Parmet (slide guitar/backing vocals) and Noah Shomberg (drums), their sound is an eclectic mix of roots-y bluegrass, modern country, and raucous rock n’ roll. Their new album, Boy In A Well, continues this trend.
The Yawpers show off their influences right off the bat. The album opens with “Armistice Day,” a driving track that sounds straight out of the Rolling Stones’ catalogue. Cook immediately shows off his vocal chops, going from nasal, twangy verses to wild screams in the chorus. “A Decision Is Made” is an unholy yet addictive fusing of Elvis and mid-’70s punk. We get a small break from the crazy with the mellow acoustic stylings of “A Visitor is Welcomed.”
After that comes “Room With A View,” a sparse and spacey ballad where Parmet gets to show off his slide for the first time and Cook asks the all-important question, “What is future, what is past?” For those worried about a loss of energy, don’t worry; “Mon Dieu” picks up the tempo and brings Johnny Cash into the album’s ever-growing list of famous homages. “The Awe And The Anguish” is the first misstep; it’s basically just an interlude that builds in volume but lacks any sort of direction.
Lead single “Mon Nom” is next, which is the first real rocker. It’s unassuming at first, but then the attitude of the main guitar riff starts to take over with authority and has Cook moving from the deepest reaches of his range to the highest and raspiest tones yet. The sass continues with “Face to Face to Face,” which contains the craziest screams and a cacophony of random piano chords adding a chaotic touch. “No Going Back” introduces a tricky 5/4 groove into the fold with the loudest and most distorted guitars to date.
The album then reaches its back end with the quiet acoustic ditty, “God’s Mercy” which is over far quicker than it should, the beach-y surf-rock groove of “Linen For The Orphan” and the ‘70s classic rock jam “Reunion” which has touches of both The Who and Fleetwood Mac.
Overall, The Yawpers do a great job of creating album that’s focused enough to show off their sound, yet diverse enough to prove they’re not a one-trick pony. And most importantly, they sound like they’re having fun while they’re doing it.