Yob are arguably one of the loudest bands on the face of the earth, so it’s only natural that frontman Mike Scheidt decided his poor ears needed some respite. Subsequently he’s channelled his energies into a more delicate, yet no less intense project.
Stay Awake is a pretty misleading title, given that the record’s dominated by somnambulant (though never dull) and often very pretty acoustic-led compositions. In Your Light almost channels Cat Stevens, thanks to Mike’s delicate guitar picking and almost falsetto croon.
Thanks to an occasional procession of background choirs, there’s arguably a strong gospel presence on the album, sometimes bringing to mind 16 Horsepower, albeit a less countrified, blood’n’thunder variation. Mike also proves that there’s more to him than just the churning detuned riffs and roaring present in Yob, displaying a hitherto unexpected James Blackshaw-esque elegance with a guitar, such as on centrepiece track Breathe.
This is unmistakeably Mike Scheidt though, and Stay Awake still displays the grandeur of his other work, the difference being you won’t get tinnitus afterwards.