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The Yawpers: American Man

Cracking second LP from Denver punk-roots dudes.

Lately there’s been a surge of bands summoning punked-up, rootsy blues devils. The kind of groups looking to Son House over Stevie Ray Vaughan, dirty fuzz over shiny solos.

The Yawpers are one of the stronger advocates, marrying MC5-esque chaos with olde countrified blues and smoke-addled shrieks – just the right side of anarchic, and hooky enough to be easy on the ear.

Accordingly, we get charismatic wagon wheels of delta stomp’n’roll, conjuring images of high-class horror scenes in rugged Westerns. Tracks like 9 To 5 are all ‘mad preacher man’ blues, with wonderfully possessed-sounding guitar slide and vocals – shrieked hoarsely, yet furiously, by Nate Cook.

Not that it’s all smash n’ bash. Burdens has the kind of sweet yet spiky, acoustic-rattling charm a less boring (OK, much less boring…) Mumford & Sons might’ve had. Faith And Good sounds like something a good Southern church-goer might write on a rebellious day, and the fiddle-laced Beale St is basically a hoe-down with amps.

Grab your pitchfork – and a pitcher of bourbon – and join the dark-country party. It’s a good place to be.

Polly is Features Editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage) and writes a few things. She also writes for Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer, and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.