Years Since Yesterday


Alligator, 1988

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


I remember, back when I was in college radio, being given an advance cassette of Let’s Buzz! by The Paladins, and absolutely falling in love with it. I knew they had an earlier album out, but at that stage in my life, I wasn’t able to locate a copy. (Chalk that up to being a poor college student, I guess.)

Years later, I was able to get my hands on my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Years Since Yesterday, their debut effort on the Alligator label (and second overall full-length release). And I remember being… underwhelmed. This was the band whose tape didn’t leave my car’s deck for weeks?

Even now, years after discovering it, Years Since Yesterday remains a solid but lackluster effort by guitarist Dave Gonzalez, bassist Thomas Yearsley and drummer Scott Campbell. It’s not a bad album by any means of the word, but it’s not one that jumps out at the listener, grabs them by the throat, and demands that they pay attention to every note.

The plodding staccato beat of the opening title track sets the tone early for this disc. It is an accurate portrayal of rockabilly meeting the world of blues would be, but there just is a lack of excitement in both the performance and delivery.

That is the overall issue with Years Since Yesterday. It doesn’t engage the listener like this kind of music should. Tracks like “Going Down To Big Mary’s” and “Your New Love” are solid enough in terms of the musicianship, but listening to this particular genre of music should provoke a bit of excitement in the listener.

And it’s not that The Paladins are incapable of doing just that. Tracks like “Happy Home,” “Mean Man” and “Right Track” all are evidence enough that Gonzalez and crew have what it takes to engage the listener and make them want more. All in all, the album is uneven. When it’s on, it’s smokin’; when the band is off, it drags the listener down with it.

Years Since Yesterday is an accurate portrait of who The Paladins were at this stage in their career, and does have moments that do more than suggest that the group was bound for greatness. If only this disc consistently showed that potential.

Rating: B-

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