The Yawpers: American Man

Cracking second LP from Denver punk-roots dudes.

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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 Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.