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.