American Man

The Yawpers

Bloodshot Records, 2016

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


A trio from Colorado who embraces rock ‘n’ roll in every sense of the word, The Yawpers is very much influenced by proto-punks like MC5 but possess the timeless spirit of Springsteen and recklessness of Westerberg's younger years, too. Though they take their name from Walt Whitman's work, The Yawpers’ mode of communication is via sonic and charged anthems as well as more refined moments of elegance. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The album begins with the aptly titled “Doing It Right,” which is the sort of rowdy and thundering bar room brawler that would give The Replacements a run for their money in their heyday. But things quickly calm down for the title track, “American Man.” A song more in tune with country and folk than punk, it strikes similarities to the early, sparse work by Ryan Adams, but exits on a fuller, Southern rock feel. “Burdens” unveils a Bob Dylan influence via frantic folk music with acoustic acrobatics and builds into front porch romping and hand clapping, while “Tied” brings a darker and more twang filled presence that’s just as loud as the tunes before it.

Near the middle, “Deacon Brodie” is a fast and furious rocker, while “Faith And Good Judgment” is a turbulent and contemplative journey that is both powerful and graceful, which extends into the funky and ebullient “9 To 5.” “Walter” is more Southern rock – a theme that seems more prevalent as the disc moves on.

The back end of the disc illustrates beauty with the mandolin and lightning quick fiddle sophistication of “Beale Street,” although “Kiss It” brings back the fury but segues right into the soothing country rock of “3 A.M.” The album ends on the sprawling rock of “The Desert,” which pounds, soars, and yelps with melody and tension that you won’t soon forget.

The Bloodshot Records roster hosts a handful of big names and an even bigger handful of flourishing talent. Though The Yawpers isn’t the most renowned outfit on the label, they are one of the best and American Man is one of the great albums of 2016.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2016 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Bloodshot Records, and is used for informational purposes only.