The Yawpers – American Man

A loud but literate howl.

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A raucous mixture of brawn and brains, Denver trio The Yawpers have conjured a dark country-blues assault where their twanging guitars jostle with frantic bursts of over-amplified acoustic slide.

Kicking off with Doing It Right (their own scuzzy take on Train Kept A Rollin’), this album is a howl, but a controlled one, using dynamics to propel their songs, notably on Kiss It, where the low, menacing spoken vocals explode on the chorus. It’s also a literate howl. This is a band that took its name from a Walt Whitman poem, after all, and just about any time you take the time to delve into the lyrics you’ll find food for thought. Lines such as ‘Living my life with my head in the sand/Praise the Lord I’m an American Man’ on the title track are not the kind of jingoistic patriotism you might have been expecting.